The aim of this programme is to create a roster of top past and present Paralympic athletes to act as ambassadors of the Paralympic Movement, in order to be role models for young people with and without disability and act as awareness and communication tools for the Paralympic Movement to enhance and increase its public profile.
Eleven Paralympic athletes from all over the world have been chosen so far:
Verena Bentele (GER, Nordic Skiing)
Hou Bin (CHN, Athletics)
Cheri Blauwet (USA, Athletics)
Kirsten Bruhn (GER, Swimming)
Muffy Davis (USA, Alpine Skiing)
Michael Teuber (GER, Cycling)
Tanni Grey-Thompson (GBR, Athletics)
Ernst Van Dyk (RSA, Athletics)
Esther Vergeer (NED, Wheelchair Tennis)
Chris Waddell (USA, Alpine Skiing)
Henry Wanyoike (KEN, Athletics)
All Paralympian Ambassadors have competed in at least one Summer or Winter Paralympic Games, have won at least one medal, represent the Paralympic spirit and values, have been recommended by their respective National Paralympic Committee as a positive role model and have a clean record with regards to anti-doping and/or any other offences.
As Paralympian Ambassadors, these top athletes will be asked to represent the Paralympic Movement in various activities including motivational speeches at corporate gatherings or events of IPC Partners, participation in awareness campaigns, including print, television or electronic, visit to IPC development or education programmes, presence at IPC events as well as media appearance.
During a two-days seminar, held at the IPC Headquarters in Bonn, Germany, from 7 to 8 February, the Ambassadors will get to know each other, receive more information about the Paralympic Movement as well as test their interview skills during a media training.