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International Paralympic Committee Information

  • Published: 2009-02-13 (Revised/Updated 2010-06-24) : Disabled World.
  • Synopsis: Information on The International Paralympic Committee IPC the global governing body of the Paralympic Games and Sports Movement.

Main Document

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.

The International Paralympic Committee is the international representative organization of elite sports for athletes with disabilities. The IPC organizes, supervises and co-ordinates the Paralympic Games and other multi-disability competitions. It is an international non-profit organization formed and run by 160 National Paralympic Committees and 5 disability specific international sports federations.

The IPC's mission is to enable athletes with a disability to achieve sporting excellence and to inspire the world. Whereas other international sports organizations for athletes with a disability are limited either to one disability group or to one specific sport, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) - as an umbrella organization - represents all sports and disabilities. The national sports organizations that created the IPC believe that the future of disability sport lies in bringing together athletes with different handicaps to hold joint competitions.

The Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer in 1994 were the first Paralympic Games under the management of IPC.

The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the Seoul Summer Games (1988) and the Albertville Winter Games (1992), they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympic Games. On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between the International Olympic Committee and the IPC aiming to secure and protect the organization of the Paralympic Games.

At the 2004 Summer Paralympics Closing Ceremonies on September 28, 2004, the IPC launched a new logo. When Athens handed over the flag to Beijing it displayed the new logo consisting of three Agitos in red, blue and green the three colors that are most widely represented in national flags around the world. The Agito logo is strongly related to the IPC motto, Spirit in Motion. The old IPC logo was a composition of three Tae-Geuks, a traditional Korean decorative symbol, and symbolized the most significant components of the human being: Mind, Body, Spirit. The taegeuk based logo was introduced at the 1988 Summer Paralympics as five taegeuks arranged and colored similarly to the Olympic rings.

The Board of Directors (for the purposes of the Companies Act 1985) are also the Charity Trustees (for the purposes of the Charities Act 1993). The Directors meet at General Purposes Committee (GPC) meetings about 6 times per year.

The IPC decided to house its world Headquarters in the former German capital of Bonn in 1997. Bonn was successful in its application against bids from other cities such as Madrid and Paris. With funds from the Bonn-Berlin compensation package, the city provided the IPC with a building for 99 years. The building was renovated and made wheelchair-accessible, and the IPC Headquarters officially opened on 3 September 1999.

The Summer and Winter Paralympic Games are the ultimate international competitions for world class athletes with a disability. They are linked to the Olympic celebrations every two years and athletes must meet strict qualifying standards in order to compete.

The British Paralympic Association is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee whose remit is to send the GB Team to the Paralympic Games. In furtherance of this objective BPA also has a remit from UK Sport to provide Performance Services to Paralympic Squads.

There are a total of 25 sports on the Paralympic program. For nine of these sports, the IPC currently serves as the International Sports Federation. Other sports are either governed by independent sport federations or are part of a disability-specific IOSD program.

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