At the same time it is also commemorating its 10-Year Anniversary of the Bonn Headquarters

IPC Celebrates 20 Years Today 04 Sep 2009 By IPC

"This is a chance to recognize the growth of both the organization and the Paralympic Movement."

Bonn, Germany – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is officially celebrating its 20-Year Anniversary today in Bonn, Germany. At the same time it is also commemorating its 10-Year Anniversary of the Bonn Headquarters.

The inspiring celebration of these two milestones for the IPC is currently taking place at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany. Official speeches of welcome are being given by Federal Minister of the Interior Dr. Wolfgang Schaeuble, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President Dr. Thomas Bach, HSH Prince Albert II. of Monaco, Lord Mayor of Bonn Baerbel Dieckmann and IPC President Sir Philip Craven.

With more than 350 guests, personalities from the world of sport, economics and politics, as well as members of the Paralympic Movement are taking part in the celebration.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven has been welcoming the many guests today and said that the gathering reflects positively on the countless achievements over the last two decades. “I am very happy to see so many familiar faces here today. This is a chance to recognize the growth of both the organization and the Paralympic Movement,” Sir Philip said. “Whether we look to the development of the Paralympic Games or Paralympic Sport in general, the global audience has become more aware about athletes with a disability. This has always been our aim, and will continue to inspire us further.”

The full programme today also includes panel discussions on themes such as “The Paralympic Movement – A History of Change” and “The Paralympic Games – From Challenger to Frontrunner”. The first discussion is being lead by Mr. Lemke and addresses the topic “Paralympic Sport – A catalyst for the implementation of the UN Convention on Rights for Persons with a Disability”. Further panellists include Deputy Secretary General of the National Paralympic Committee of China Guozhong Zhang, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, former IPC President Dr. Robert D. Steadward, and former IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson Ljiljana Ljubisic.

The second round of discussion is being lead by the Chairman of the London 2012 Organizing Committee Lord Sebastian Coe and holds the topic “The London 2012 Paralympic Games Approach”. Those taking part in the discussion include IPC President Sir Philip Craven, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, Head of ABC TV Sport and Events Justin Holdforth, Chief Marketing Officer Otto Bock Healthcare Dr. Helmut Pfuhl, and British Paralympian Danielle Brown. They will discuss the future of the Paralympic Movement and debate its challenges and opportunities.

The evening will be closed with an official dinner of the Paralympic Family celebrating the reunion of friends and companions, providing the opportunity to reminisce about the past and look ahead to future endeavours.

The opening speeches as well as the panel discussions were recorded and are now available to view on the IPC's internet TV channel www.ParalympicSport.TV.

Photos and footage of the day can be made available to interested media organizations. Video footage of the day (a highlight package in broadcast quality) can be downloaded via FTP using the following login data:

FTP Server: ipc.jfksports.de

User: web115f3

Password:ipcbonn

Please contact Eva Werthmann, IPC New Media and Broadcasting Co-ordinator, for further details.

For more information about the IPC and its history, please visit the official website at www.paralympic.org.

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Notes to the Editor:

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

For further information, please contact Steffi Klein, IPC Media and Communications Senior Manager, on tel: +49-2008-2097-230, e-mail: [email protected]