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International Paralympic day returns to Berlin
Following the enormous success of the IPD in Berlin in 2007 at the venue and in the media, as well as the significant media coverage of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the IPC will continue its tradition of hosting the IPD as a biennial event and promote the fascination and social dimension of Paralympic Sport.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin will once again be the backdrop for the demonstration of Paralympic Sport and enable spectators to experience first-hand the inspiration and excitement of Paralympic athletes. A crowd of more than 40,000 attended the event in 2007.
An interesting variety of Paralympic sports will be demonstrated, including Football 5-a-Side, Long Jump, Table Tennis, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Dance Sport. With the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on the horizon, the IPC has added the Paralympic Winter sports Biathlon and Ice Sledge Hockey to the programme.
Said IPC President Sir Philip Craven: “The International Paralympic Day 2009 presents a unique opportunity to experience exciting Paralympic sports and inspiring Paralympic athletes at their best.”
Athletes will come from all over the world to perform in Berlin. So far, the following athletes have confirmed their attendance: for Wheelchair Basketball, the German Women’s National Team and the Dutch Women’s National Team; for Table Tennis Paralympic Gold Medalist Holger Nikelis, and for Biathlon Paralympic Gold Medalist Verena Bentele. World-class athletes Casey Tibbs (USA), Paralympic medalist in Beijing 2008, and Urs Kolly, Paralympic Champion in Athens 2004, will also be present and compete in the main event of the day, the Long Jump competition.
The audience, especially children, will have an opportunity to try out some of the sports themselves like Wheelchair Basketball or the Biathlon shooting range.
The IPC is able to host this event through the active support of the IPC Gold Patrons Allianz SE and Deutsche Telekom, the IPC World Wide Partners Samsung and Otto Bock Health Care, the event partners Deutsche Bahn, the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (ABDA), the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), the German National Paralympic Committee DBS, the German Ministry of the Interior (BMI) as well as the media partners Rundfunk Berlin- Brandenburg (RBB) and Tagesspiegel.