President of the IPC Praised Accessibility in Sochi for People with Impairments

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Following Russia's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven made his first visit to Sochi and personally inspected the city's sports venues and infrastructure.

President of the IPC Praised Accessibility in Sochi for People with Impairments

President of the IPC Praised Accessibility in Sochi for People with Impairments

I’m really impressed with the preparations for the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi – much of the barrier-free city environment already matches up to the IPC’s high global standards

Following Russia's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven made his first visit to Sochi and personally inspected the city's sports venues and infrastructure. According to Sir Philip, he was impressed by the scale of the barrier-free environment being constructed in Sochi, and by the Games organizers' intention, along with the city's authorities, to ensure that all the sports venues are accessible to people with impairments. A total of 1800 different venues will be made accessible by 2014, including the Sochi international airport; almost a third of them are already fully accessible. As a result Sochi might become a shining example to other cities of Russia of how to fully integrate people with impairments into the community.

Sir Philip began his visit to Sochi by meeting the Mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, after which an inspection tour of the city was laid on for the President of the IPC, so that he could assess the city's infrastructure in terms of its accessibility to people with impairments. During the excursion Sir Philip was shown the clock, which is counting down to the start of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. It was put up on May 14, 2011 - exactly 1000 days before the start of the Olympic Games, which will commence on February 7, 2014. The Paralympic Games will begin exactly one month later - on March 7, 2014.

Later the IPC President looked round the Paralympic venues in the Coastal cluster, in the Imeretinskaya Valley, and noted their high state of readiness for hosting the upcoming Paralympic Games.

Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, noted:

“I’m really impressed with the preparations for the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi – much of the barrier-free city environment already matches up to the IPC’s high global standards. All the venues have acquired their shape and their infrastructure is fully adapted for people with impairments. And it’s a milestone in terms of staging the most innovative Paralympic Games ever, which I’m looking forward to.”

President of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko marked:

“We were delighted to welcome Sir Philip Craven to Sochi to show him the strong progress that has been made to prepare the venues and the city for the Paralympic Winter Games. The Games are already helping to transform Sochi into a barrier-free city and we hope that it can become a model for other Russian cities in the future. One of the many benefits the Games will bring is the opportunity it offers to change perceptions across Russia about people with impairments. That is why we have worked so hard to establish a wide-ranging education programme to promote their full inclusion in society.”

Notes to the editor

The International Paralympic Committee (the IPC) is an international organization created to manage the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games and acts as the international federation for 9 different sports, in which it controls and coordinates the staging of world championships and other competitions. The IPC has taken on the obligation of cooperating with Paralympic athletes to help them achieve outstanding results in sport, and to provide every athlete with a disability with the opportunity to get involved in sport, from beginners to those in the elite sport category. Moreover, the IPC's aim is to promote the Paralympic values, such as courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Founded on September 22, 1989, the IPC is an international non-commercial organization. The IPC's members consist of the 174 National Paralympic Committees (NPC) from the five regions of the world, plus the four International Organizations for Sport for the Disabled (IOSD). The IPC's headquarters and its head office are located in Bonn, Germany.

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