The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has declared itself as ‘extremely encouraged’ after completing its second Project Review of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games today.
After three days of meetings (13-15 September) in Moscow, Russia, nine representatives from the IPC including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Xavier Gonzalez were updated on the progress of a number of areas by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. This included transport, accommodation, technology, sport and test events, marketing and communications, city operations and education.
The meeting also heard the results of an accessibility study into the venues in Sochi and reviewed a cultural programme proposed for the build-up to the Games. Designed to promote Russia’s rich history in culture and the arts, the programme will involve four thematic years between now and 2013 covering Cinema, Theatre, Music and Museums.
An update was also given on a competition launched earlier this month which gives the Russian public the opportunity to put forward their ideas for how the official Sochi 2014 Paralympic Mascot should look. Although the closing date for entries is not until early December 2010, the competition has so far generated unprecedented amounts of media coverage in Russia as well as thousands of entries from budding artists.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s CEO, said: “The three days of meetings were very productive and we are extremely encouraged at the progress being made by the Sochi Organizing Committee.
“Following the success of the Russian team in Vancouver earlier this year, interest in the Paralympic Movement in the country is at an all-time high.
“Between now and 2014 it is important that the Organizing Committee builds on this momentum to further raise awareness of the values of the Paralympic Movement while building the infrastructure and sponsorship portfolio needed to host highly successful Games.”
During his visit to Moscow, Gonzalez together with IPC President Sir Philip Craven also met with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak at Government Hall. At the meeting, the three discussed the integration of people with a disability into society and the creation of a barrier-free environment.
Xavier Gonzalez added: “It was a pleasure to meet Deputy Prime Minister Kozak and discuss the Paralympic Movement. It was a very positive meeting and the IPC would like to praise the Government on the approval of a new barrier-free law which will help people with a disability in Russia.”
Dmitry Chernyschenko, President and CEO of Sochi 2014, said: “The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee are pioneers in creating a barrier-free environment in Russia.
“Everything we do for the Games regarding transport, roads, venues and infrastructure will become a blueprint for a barrier-free environment for the whole country. Our goal is to not only introduce new standards but also use the Games to raise awareness of people with a disability.
“That’s why a complex Paralympic awareness programme is under development and will be implemented from 2011 up until the Games.”
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games will take place from 7-16 March 2014. Earlier this year more than 500 athletes attended the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. Russia topped the medals table with 38 in total, 12 of which were Gold.