Visa to Sponsor Inaugural Paralympic Hall of Fame at Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games
For this historic ceremony, three inductees chosen by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the IPC Governing Board will be inducted as members of the Paralympic Hall of Fame. These individuals will be elected based on their athletic performance, history of fair play and participation in community service.
"As the first global sponsor of the Paralympic Games and Worldwide Partner of the IPC, Visa strongly supports the Paralympic Movement and continues to help facilitate progress toward greater worldwide acceptance of people with disabilities by promoting awareness of athletes with disabilities," said Tom Shepard, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships and Sponsorship, Visa International. "Visa's sponsorship of the Paralympic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates the universal values of sportsmanship, excellence and commitment embodied by these athletes and coaches and recognizes the great influence they have had on the Paralympic Games."
According to the IPC, to be eligible for induction in the newly-created Paralympic Hall of Fame, athlete and coach candidates must have participated in at least two Paralympic Games and must have won a number of medals, either directly or, in the case of a coach, through the athlete(s) or team(s) they coached. An athlete or coach must have ceased to be an active participant in the Paralympic Games for at least four years, or one Paralympic cycle, prior to the year of election.
"The Paralympic Hall of Fame will commemorate Paralympians who have achieved true sporting greatness, and it will ensure that a permanent record and institutional memory is kept of top Paralympians. As an athlete-centered organization, the IPC is thankful to our Worldwide Partner Visa International, whose support will make the creation of the Paralympic Hall of Fame possible" said Sir Philip Craven, IPC President.
Paralympic Hall of Fame election and induction ceremonies will be held in conjunction with the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games, and consequently will take place only during those years in which the Paralympic Games are held. For the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, the PHF will exist as a virtual Hall of Fame on the IPC website. Visa's sponsorship will continue for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
The Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games will take place in Torino, Italy, from 10 to 19 March 2006, and will feature approximately 1,300 athletes, coaches and officials representing around 40 National Paralympic Committees. Winter athletes will compete in four sports - Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Nordic Skiing (Cross Country and Biathlon) and Wheelchair Curling.
Visa is a Worldwide Partner of the IPC and currently sponsors the Paralympic Games as part of its agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to support both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Visa is the exclusive payment card and official payment service for the Olympic and Paralympic Games through 2012.
About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit http://www.corporate.visa.com/.
About IPC: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the international governing body of sports for athletes with a disability and acts as the International Federation for 13 sports. It supervises and co-ordinates the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games and other multi-disability competitions, eg, World Championships. The IPC also supports the recruitment and development of athletes at a local, national and international level across all performance levels. For more information, visit http://www.paralympic.org/.