The 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships were officially declared open last weekend with the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sir Philip Craven attending the Opening Ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The ceremony began at 19:00 on 17 October, and was attended by the President of Iceland Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and the President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Iceland Mr. Sveinn Aki Ludviksson.
The 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships are taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 18-24 October. The event has an expected 650 athletes and staff, along with 37 participating countries. The planning stages of the 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships included a site visit from 25-26 July, with members from Iceland’s NPC, the Swimming Federation, the National Anti-Doping Organization, and the Organizing Committee.
On the occasion of the 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships, Sir Philip also presented the Paralympic Honour to Iceland’s President Grímsson. Sir Philip said the Paralympic Honour is given to high-ranking dignitaries, officials and other persons outside of the Paralympic Movement who have contributed significantly to the Movement.
“By hosting the Swimming European Championships, Iceland brings Paralympic Sport to this Nordic country as the main event, and thus creates more awareness in the region about the possibilities for Paralympic athletes,” Sir Philip said.
Past Paralympic Honour recipients include Former President of Korea Mr. Roh Moo-Hyun, President of the Federal Republic of Brazil Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Far East and South Pacific Games of the Disabled (FESPIC) Dr. Kazuo Hatada, Former President of Russia Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Federal Republic of Germany Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler, Premier of People's Republic of China Mr. Wen Jiabao, Former Prime Minister of Hungary Mr. Ferenc Gyurcsany, and President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mr. Jacques Rogge.
Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, Swimming has been one of the main sports of the Paralympics. Competitors measure their skills in Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, Breaststroke and Medley events. Swimming is governed by the IPC and co-ordinated by the IPC Swimming Sport Technical Committee, which incorporates the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA).
A live stream of the 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships will be broadcasted on www.ParalympicSport.TV on 23 and 24 October. Watch out for the action!
For more information about IPC Swimming, please visit www.ipc-swimming.org.