PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics start with 51 athletes supported by the Agitos Foundation

One in every 11 athletes competing in the Paralympic Winter Games has been a beneficiary of programmes funded by the IPC development arm 09 Mar 2018
Brazilian Para Nordic skier Christian Ribera practices in PyeongChang ahead of the 2018 Winter Paralympics

Brazil's 15 year-old Christian Ribera is one of the beneficiaries of Agitos Foundation programmes

ⒸMarcio Rodrigues/MPIX/CPB
By Agitos Foundation

I am absolutely delighted to see the impact of the work of the Agitos Foundation, delivering sport technical courses, supporting projects with their Grant Support Programme and working closely with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee.

The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics is set to open this Friday (9 March) with a record 567 athletes from 48 countries, plus the Neutral Paralympic Athlete delegation, being the biggest Winter Games yet.

Among those, a total of 51 athletes from 21 countries who will compete in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, Para ice hockey and snowboard have been beneficiaries of initiatives delivered or funded by the Agitos Foundation, the IPC development arm.

Several coaches and sport managers from more than 50 National Paralympic Committees have also attended Agitos Foundation workshops, ensuring a lasting legacy for winter sports around the world.

Among the beneficiaries are the five participants from the three National Paralympic Committees who will take part in a Winter Games for the first time – Georgia (2 athletes), North Korea (2 athletes) and Tajikistan (1 athlete) –, who took part in a Para Nordic skiing delivered by the Agitos Foundation earlier this year in Germany.

Many of these athletes have attended projects funded by the Agitos Foundation Grant Support Programme (GSP), which was launched in 2013 since then has invested over EUR 3 million in supporting 156 Para sport development projects across the world, making a significant impact on the growth of the Paralympic Movement.

That’s the case of Brazilian cross-country skier Cristian Werstemaier Ribera, the youngest athlete in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The 15 years-old had his first contact with the sport in 2015, during a GSP-funded project from the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) and the Brazilian Confederation of Snow Sports (CBDN).

All four Para snowboarders from the Netherlands – Bibian Mentel-Spee, Chris Vos and Lisa Bunschoten – and all three athletes from Great Britain – Ben Moore, James Barnes-Miller and flag bearer Owen Pick – also attended GSP-funded workshops, organised by both countries in 2015 and 2016.

Norway’s Lena Schroeder, who is the first female Para ice hockey player to take part in the Winter Paralympics since Lillehammer 1994, was present in a women’s Para Ice Hockey workshop last year in Chuncheon, South Korea, delivered by the Agitos Foundation in partnership with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, as part of the Actualising the Dream project.

As part of the project, more than 30 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) also received a special boost in their efforts to develop winter Para sports after receiving alpine skiing, snowboarding and Para ice hockey equipment in 2017.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the impact of the work of the Agitos Foundation, delivering sport technical courses, supporting projects with their Grant Support Programme and working closely with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee.

“Even before the Games begin, one of the lasting legacies of PyeongChang 2018 will be that many new countries are practising winter sports, including the three countries that will make their Winter Games debut this year.

“Having 50 beneficiaries competing here is an outstanding achievement for the Agitos Foundation and I am sure that this number will be even bigger in the next Paralympic Winter Games.”

You can follow the updates about the athletes who participated in Agitos Foundation following the hashtag #TeamAgitos on social media.

List of athletes:

Stasik Nazaryan (ARM)

Ilma Kazazic (BIH)

Andre Cintra (BRA)

Cristian Westemaier Ribera (BRA)

Svetoslav Feorgiev (BUL)

Diego Primero Seguel Moreno (CHI)

Nicolas Bisquertt Hudson (CHI)

Santiago Vega (CHI)

Antun Bosnjakovic (CRO)

Damir Mizdrak (CRO)

Eva Goluza (CRO)

Josip Zima (CRO)

Lovro Dokic (CRO)

Matti Suur-hamari (FIN)

Cecile Hernandez (FRA)

Temuri Dadiani (GEO)

Nino Sabashvili (GEO)

Ben Moore (GBR)

James Barnes-Miller (GBR)

Menna Fitzpatrick (GBR)

Owen Pick (GBR)

Aboulfazl Khatibi Mianaei (IRI)

Elaheh Gholifallah (IRI)

Bibian Mentel-Spee (NED)

Chris Vos (NED)

Lisa Bunschoten (NED)

Renske Van Beek (NED)

Lena Schroeder (NOR)

Tor Joakim Rivera (NOR)

Kristian Moen (NOR)

Aleksandar Alyabyev (NPA)

Anastasiia Khorosheva (NPA)

Valerii Redkozubov (NPA)

Adam Hall (NZL)

Carl Murphy (NZL)

Corey Peters (NZL)

Iweta Faron (POL)

Lukasz Kubica (POL)

Kamil Rosiek (POL)

Witold Skupien (POL)

Jonghyon Kim (PRK)

Yuchol Ma (PRK)

Mihaita Papara (ROU)

Jernej Slivnik (SLO)

Milos Zaric (SRB)

Ilyasov Siyovush (TJK)

Bohdana Konashuk (UKR)

Grygorii Vovchynskyi (UKR)

Iryna Bui (UKR)

Liudmyla Liashenko (UKR)

Taras Rad (UKR)