From 28-30 January, the third Paralympic Games Liaison Committee meeting between the IPC and ATHENS 2004 was held in Athens, Greece, with significant progress made since the last Committee meeting eight months ago.
During three days of working sessions, ATHENS 2004 presented the status of preparations in 15 sectors: accommodation, accreditation, doping control, ceremonies, education, health services, information technology, marketing, the Paralympic Village, press services, sports, tickets, venue operations and work projects. Good progress had been made in many areas, especially in transportation, accommodation and health services.
With regard to sports, good progress in the detailed planning for the Paralympic Games had taken place. The Paralympic Family hotel has been selected and the preparations for the Paralympic Village are advancing well. The IPC is satisfied with the present progress in making sure that the Village will meet all necessary requirements for the Paralympic teams.
Furthermore, the Greek government introduced new legislation on accessibility of public buildings, with non-compliance of this legislation resulting in penalties. The Greek Minster of Culture announced that also the Acropolis will be made accessible.
There are still some areas of the Paralympic Games, which need to be further addressed such as the promotion of the Games, finalisation of the budget and the participation of the information technology partners.
A total of 110 NPC have confirmed their participation in the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, in which around 4,000 athletes are expected to compete in 19 sports at 19 venues.
An additional four sponsors have signed up for the 2004 Paralympics, in a deal worth EUR 2,2 million. The new sponsors include Ticketmaster, which will contribute EUR 400,000, Shell Hellas (EUR 600,000) and ABB-ALSTON Siemens Diekat (EUR 500,000). Another sponsor has also agreed to give EUR 700,000 in technology equipment. With VISA, the EUR 3,2 million in sponsorship is about one-fourth of what ATHENS 2004 needs to reach.
The sailing regatta at the Paralympic Games will take place utilising the Agios Kosmas Marina. The first Paralympic Qualification Regatta took place last year with 7 nations in each event already qualified
. The second and final Paralympic Qualification Regatta will take place at the 2003 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championship, to be held in Piraeus, Greece, 5-13 September 2003. For full details of the Paralympic Regatta Qualification system, click here