Christian Egli of Switzerland was honoured for all of his behind-the-scenes work at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on Saturday (10 December), when he won the Exemplary Paralympic Games Official award at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) 2011 Paralympic Sport Awards gala in Beijing, China.
The award is proudly partnered by the IPC’s international partner, Allianz, and Egli beat out four other finalists for it: Markus Walser (Canada), Hans Peter Neeser (Switzerland), Len Apedaile (Canada) and Anne Lannem (Norway).
As the IPC Technical Delegate for Cross-Country Skiing and an assistant for Biathlon, Egli helped develop the sit-ski sprint course for Vancouver 2010 and contributed to the newly created IPC Nordic Skiing point system. Vancouver 2010 was his final event as a Games official after many years of supporting the IPC at the Paralympic Winter Games and various World Championship events.
“I was very surprised and very happy,” Egli said of receiving the award. “I didn’t even think anytime about this possibility.
“I feel I always wanted to do the best for the organization and the athletes.”
Egli has been involved in para-sport since 1988, when he began work with Switzerland’s National Paralympic Committee on various World Cup events.
In Vancouver, he managed course conditions, athlete logistics and competition organization.
He had to work quickly to help transform the Olympic ski course to a Paralympic one that was suitable for visually impaired athletes in order to secure their safety during the Games.
“Athletes first” was his motto throughout both Vancouver 2010 and his career.
Egli said that he was easily able to carry out his duties in Vancouver due to a solid staff and great volunteers, and because of the nice weather.
“We were very lucky because the weather conditions the whole time were very good,” Egli said. “That was a very exceptional thing.”
At 67 years old, Egli is now retired, but he has enough sporting memories on the slopes to last him a lifetime.