Night of Paralympic Stars Returns to Berlin

Around 500 people from the world of sport, politics, media and culture came together last night in Berlin, Germany, to celebrate the achievements of Paralympians. The “Night of the Stars” is the most important social event of the German Paralympic Movement, and the evening was deemed a success with distinguished guests such as Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Patron of the German Fundraising Committee for Disability Sport, and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven in attendance. 12 Nov 2008 By IPC

Held at the ‘Mercedes World’ in the German capital, several awards were presented over the evening. The German Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award was given to Swimmer and Paralympian Ambassador Kirsten Bruhn (Female Category), Cyclist Wolfgang Sacher (Male Category) and the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team (Team Category).

Kirsten Bruhn was a solid performer at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. She came away with a total of five medals, including a gold in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke (SB5) and a silver in the Women’s 100m Backstroke (S7). Wolfgang Sacher was no less impressive in Beijing, with a gold medal in the Men’s Individual Time Trial (LC1) and a silver medal in the Men’s Individual Pursuit (LC1).

The Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team took the silver medal at the Beijing Games and had several athletes on hand in Berlin to celebrate with the attendees. Edina Mueller, who played in the finals against USA in Beijing, accepted the award, along with other athletes on stage.

Sir Philip Craven also gave a speech which highlighted the achievements of the athletes and the accomplishments in Beijing. “The Games in Beijing have considerably altered the perception of Paralympic Sport,” Sir Philip said. “Because of the success in Beijing from all of the athletes, the world will continue to see the exceptional growth within the Paralympic Movement and the elite performances from our athletes.”

The German Paralympic Media Awards 2008 were also presented in Berlin, with categories in Television, Print and special recognition. Representatives from German Television ARD, ZDF and the RTL, the Newspaper Group Madsack and Badischen Neuesten Nachrichten, and ZDF Reporter Marcel Bergmann accepted the awards for their contribution to media during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.