By Gary Anderson

February 18 - Reigning Paralympic champion Maria Iovleva is among a host of Vancouver 2010 medallists named in the Russian squad for Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images Hosts Russia today named its largest ever team of athletes for Sochi 2014, which sees the 67-strong squad led by Nordic skiers who claimed 22 gold medals at last year's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships.

At Vancouver 2010, Russia's team of 46 athletes finished second on the overall medals table, thanks to the performance of its Nordic skiers, who claimed all 38 medals, including 12 gold.

Among those returning to defend their titles are Maria Iovleva, Kirill Mikhaylov, Irek Zaripov, Mikhalina Lysova and Nikolay Polukhin.

Over half of the Russian athletes at Sochi will be taking part in Nordic skiing events and other notable names on the squad include Vancouver 2010 silver medallist and multiple world champion Roman Petushov and reigning world champions Grigory Murygin and Anna Milenina.

During this season's IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup tour, Russia has exerted a near total monopolisation of the podium.

Twelve athletes and four guides make up the Alpine skiing squad where three-time world champion Aleksandra Frantceva and rising star Alexey Bugaev will be hoping to challenge for medals, while Kirill Finkelman, Aleksandr Ilinov and Igor Ivanov will be looking for snowboard glory.

Russia will once again look to its Para-Nordic skiers to secure Paralympic gold at Sochi ©Getty Images Russia will once again look to its Para-Nordic skiers to secure Paralympic gold at Sochi
©Getty Images

The wheelchair curling squad of Svetlana Pakhomova, Marat Romanov, Alexander Shevchenko, Oksana Slesarenko and Andrei Smirnov will be among the contenders for the podium in Sochi as they look to secure a first ever Paralympic medal to build on World Championship gold in 2012.

Much will be expected of the ice sledge hockey team also, and star forward Dmitry Lisov will lead last year's World Championship bronze medallists on their charge for honours on home ice.

To view a full list of the Russian Paralympic team for Sochi 2014 click here.

The Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games are due to run from March 7 to 16.

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