The President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Sir Philip Craven, paid a visit to Brazil’s new Paralympic training centre in Sao Paulo on Thursday, 10 September, a state-of-the-art facility that forms part of the legacy of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Alongside IPC Vice President Andrew Parsons, who is also President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip was impressed with the construction of the centre which is now over 97 per cent complete.
During the visit, Sir Philip and Parsons were awarded with the Ordem do Ipiranga from the Governor of Sao Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, one of the highest orders of the city.
Athletes from the state were also honoured for their performances at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, where they contributed significantly to Brazil’s first-place finish in the medals table with 257 medals.
"We are here in the city that produced the most medallists for Brazil in Toronto,” Sir Philip said. “When I visited the Brazilian Paralympic Centre I could see the size and quality of the structure. Paralympic sport has to be handled in the best possible way, and that's how he is being treated here. The facilities are absolutely fantastic.”
The ceremony also was attended by the Secretary of State for the Rights of People with Disabilities, Linamara Rizzo Battistella, and the city’s Sports Secretary, Celso Jatene.
"It's a place where athletes can train in 15 Paralympic sports, an extraordinary investment,” Parsons said. “When you see the grandiosity, the attention to detail given to every corner of this center, the environment we have created for athletes that are here, we see that we can compare it to the best facilities on the planet. I can say that the Brazilian Paralympic Centre is comparable to the best centres in the world.”
The Brazilian Paralympic Centre is 97.5 per cent complete. The site will have capacity for up to 282 athletes training simultaneously in athletics, wheelchair basketball, boccia, swimming, wheelchair fencing, 5-a-side football, 7-a-side football, goalball, powerlifting, judo, wheelchair rugby, table tennis, wheelchair tennis, triathlon and sitting volleyball.
BRL 264,272 million has been invested in the centre, of which BRL 149,630 million has been given by the Federal Government and BRL 114,642 million by the state of Sao Paulo.
In addition to training, the centre will also be a hub for research, sports medicine and administration for the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.