(ATR) Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, says Beijing 2008 set a high standard for the caliber of the 2022 Winter Paralympics.
Philip Craven (right) at a press conference with Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota motor corporation (Getty Images)
"When I think of Beijing, I think back to the amazing Paralympic Games in 2008 when China and Beijing raised the bar so high," Craven said in a televised message to an assembly of IPC and BOCOG leaders.
"I know you are capable and must repeat a similar feat with the Winter Games in 2022."
The meeting between some 250 Beijing Olympic organizers and a five-member IPC delegation took place at a seminar in the Chinese capital on Monday.
This marked the first set of talks about preparations for the 2022 Paralympics. BOCOG was inaugurated on Dec. 15 of last year.
During the seminar, the two sides discussed items including the sports program for 2022, accessibility, branding, broadcasting, promotion, and media operations.
"The Closing Ceremony in 2008 was entitled 'A Letter to the Future' and most certainly I see the Games of 2022 being a very big part of that letter," Craven added.
"Make sure you reply to that letter with the greatest Paralympic Winter Games in 2022."
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC's chief executive officer, led the delegation of Paralympic leaders in Beijing. "In the same way that Beijing 2008 raised the standard for all summer Games eight years ago, we want Beijing 2022 to take the winter Games to new heights," Gonzalez said in a statement released on Monday.
Zhang Jiandong, BOCOG vice president and Beijing's vice mayor (Getty Images)
"This orientation seminar marks the start of a six-year-long relationship with the organizing committee and we hope this transfer of knowledge gives Beijing 2022 a good understanding of what is required to stage the best ever Paralympic Winter Games."
Zhang Jiandong, vice president of BOCOG and Beijing's vice mayor, also attended the seminar and signaled a "fantastic, extraordinary and excellent" Paralympics. "A successful 2022 Paralympic Winter Games needs joint efforts from BOCOG and the IPC.
"The seminar marks a good start of the close cooperation between the two sides."
Lu Yong, BOCOG vice president and head of the executive board of the China Disabled Persons' Federation echoed Jiandong's sentiments and said his organization should play a key role in the 2022 Paralympics.
"BOCOG should spare no effort to push forward the participation of Chinese disabled persons in the Paralympic Winter Games, and turn winter sports into an important tool to facilitate disabled people’s body building and rehabilitation."
The 2022 Winter Paralympic Games will open on March 4 in Beijing.
Written by Nicole Bennett
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