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Gu Xiaofei - Powerlifting - London 2012 Paralympic Games

Gu Xiaofei - Powerlifting - London 2012 Paralympic Games

First powerlifting referees qualified in Canada

A total of seven referees took part in training ahead of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games.

A total of seven new powerlifting referees were trained in Canada in 2014 Jon Amos (third from left) from IPC Powerlifting trained seven referees in Canada. © • IPC

The programme aimed to develop national referees ahead of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games from 7-15 August, where powerlifting is one of 16 sports on the schedule.

A total of seven people have successfully passed their training to become the first ever qualified national powerlifting referees in Canada.

The programme aimed to develop national referees ahead of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games from 7-15 August, where powerlifting is one of 15 sports on the schedule.

Attending the TORONTO 2015 sponsored course was Jon Amos, Chairperson of IPC Powerlifting’s Sport Technical Committee and IPC Powerlifting Certified Educator, who helped to train the referees.

Each attendee was nominated by the Canadian national governing body to be trained on the course.

The new trainees will now prepare themselves for TORONTO 2015 by officiating at various national competitions.

In 2014, other courses have taken place in Hungary, United Arab Emirates, and Kazakhstan. The final course of the year is due to take place in November in Brazil.

Training for referees and classifiers was also held in Turkmenistan, supported by the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee the Agitos Foundation.

Currently, a total of 56 new referees are now qualified as a result of the five courses.

In other sports, organisers of the TORONTO 2015 Games have started various projects to develop para-sport in the Americas, working alongside the Agitos Foundation.

As part of “The Road TO2015: Agitos Foundation Sessions”, coaches and classifiers have been trained in swimming, athletics and goalball.

The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games will feature around 1,600 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports, with just over one year to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

There are currently four levels that referees can achieve within IPC Powerlifting – national, regional, international category I and international category II.

Powerlifting referees Canada 2014

Powerlifting referees Canada 2014

Eger, Hungary

Eger, Hungary

Eger 2015

China’s Liu looking to be No.1 in Incheon

Paralympic and world champion Lei Liu is the current Asian world No.1 and heads to the 2014 Asian Para Games with a world record in his sights.

A picture of a man powerlifter on a bench celebrating with his hands up Liu Lei of China celebrates a world-record lift and takes gold in the men's -67.5kg competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty Images
By Caryn Maconi | for the IPC

“I will give 100 percent to try to break the record,” Liu said. “If I can break it, I will be very happy.”

World champion powerlifter Lei Liu has set firm goals for October’s 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea: To keep his spot atop the podium and set a new world record.

Liu, a two-time gold medalist for China at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games, also took the men’s up to 65kg title at the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE, earlier this year. His gold-medal lift in Dubai was 203kg, more than three times his own body weight.

Liu set a world record in the men’s up to 67.5kg class at London 2012 but after changes to the weight categories in early 2013, Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin claimed the world record at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Chinese standout had taken time off after London to focus on his college studies. Although he did not reclaim the world record in Dubai, he was pleased with his gold-medal performance.

At Incheon 2014, however, Liu hopes to bring the world mark back under his own name.

“I will give 100 percent to try to break the record,” Liu said. “If I can break it, I will be very happy.”

Currently, Liu leads the 2014 Asian rankings in his classification and is favored to win. Still, he does not let the pressure affect him.

“Pressure never occurs in my dictionary,” Liu said. “There is a very good atmosphere on our team, you know. We are always talking about technology. All the chat makes me very relaxed after training.”

Like many Paralympic athletes representing China, Liu benefits from a Chinese fan base that has grown rapidly since Beijing hosted the 2008 Paralympic Games.

“After the 2008 Games, disabled sports are familiar to common Chinese people. More and more disabled friends come to join us to compete and train,” Liu said. “The whole community is very interested – we have lots of volunteers who come to help us and share in the fun of disabled sport.”

In addition, he has a strong support system at the local level.

“The Paralympic Games have a large effect in the organiser country, not only in developing sport in their country but also in earning reorganisation in the community,” Liu said. “After I became a Paralympic gold medalist, I became famous in my hometown. My community knows there are some sports in the world for people with disabilities, and these athletes also fight for their dream and do their best to compete. They are moved by our spirit.”

The Asian Para Games, which are set for 18-24 October, will feature approximately 4,500 athletes from 41 countries competing in 23 sports. They are, however, one stop on the journey to the larger goal – Rio 2016.

“Just as is the goal in Incheon, I will fight for my title in Rio,” Liu said. “I have made a two year training plan, which is secret – but what I can tell you is that three gold medal is my goal, and I will do my best to earn that.”

Beyond his medal hopes, Liu also aims to change the worldwide perception of people with disabilities through his prominence in the Paralympic Movement.

“People become interested in disabled people, and we use our performances to show them that we can be equal,” Liu said. “That is why I love being a Paralympic athlete.”

Rio 2016 opens registration process for Paralympic Volunteer Programme

Over 25,000 volunteers are needed to fill roles for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Rio 2016 Pioneer Volunteers group photographed during the filming of the campaign. The Rio 2016 Pioneer Volunteers group photographed during the filming of the campaign. © • Alexandre Loureiro/Rio2016
By Rio 2016

“The Volunteer Programme of the Rio 2016 Games will reflect Brazilian diversity; of talents, cultures, ages and interests."

Registrations are now open for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Volunteer Programme.

A total of 70,000 people, Brazilians and foreigners alike, will carry out more than 500 different functions, with 45,000 volunteers involved in the Olympic Games and 25,000 in the Paralympic Games.

Anyone interested in taking part in the selection process has until 15 November 2014 to sign up via the volunteer page on the website.

The programme is wide reaching in the volume and characteristics of the people, but also through the opportunity for personal development that the participants will have at their disposal.

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee will offer an on-line English course for everyone who registers and those selected as volunteers will have an additional period of language classes, in addition to specific training according to their function. The volunteers will also receive a uniform, food and transport on the days they work, and a certificate of participation.

The volunteers represent 33 per cent of the workforce of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with opportunities available for a diverse range of skills and characteristics, including for people with an impairment. Some functions require knowledge and specific skills, which will be performed by specialist volunteers in the areas of Sport, Medical Services, Technology and Languages.

“The Volunteer Programme of the Rio 2016 Games will reflect Brazilian diversity; of talents, cultures, ages and interests. All this diversity will be added to the other thousands of people who will come to Brazil for a greater goal, to participate in the realisation of the largest multisport event in the world with excellence, passion and joy, for the first time in Brazil,” said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.

To take part, volunteers must be at least 18 years old as of February 2016 (there is no maximum age limit) and ideally to have completed primary education, as well as being available to participate in the selection process and during the Games.

Official logo - Kuala Lumpur 2010

Official logo - Kuala Lumpur 2010