IPC inducts new members into its Hall of Fame

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

London, England— Five Paralympians were inducted into the Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame in a ceremony in London last Thursday. The five were Louise Sauvage, Roberto Marson, Trischa Zorn-Hudson, Frank Ponta, and Chris Holmes. Between them, they have won 100 Paralympic medals.

Chris Wadell at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Louise Sauvage, Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Louise Sauvage, Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Roberto Marson's daughter, Louise Sauvage, Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Trischa Zorn-Hudson, Roberto Marson's daughter, Louise Sauvage, Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.
Chris Holmes, Trischa Zorn-Hudson, Roberto Marson's daughter, Louise Sauvage, Chris Wadell and Sir Philip Craven at the IPC Hall of Fame induction
Image: Hawkeye7.

The ceremony was hosted by Chris Wadell, a Paralympic skier who was himself inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2010 Winter Paralympics, alongside Sir Philip Craven, the current President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Louise Sauvage, an Australian Paralympic wheelchair racer, won thirteen Paralympic medals – including nine gold medals, was presented by Sir Philip Craven with a set of pins from the last six summer Paralympics. She noted that she had been to all of them, and is currently in London as a coach. Two of her new protégées attended the Hall of Fame induction.

Roberto Marson was an Italian athlete, fencer, and swimmer who won 26 Paralympic medals, including sixteen golds in his career, died last November. His award was a posthumous one, accepted on his behalf by his daughter.

Trischa Zorn-Hudson, from the United States, is the most successful Paralympian of all time, having won 55 medals, of which 41 were gold. Her medal tally also included nine silver and five bronze. Today, she works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; helping disabled veterans to achieve their potential. Wadell noted this brings the Paralympics full circle, the Games having began with disabled servicemen.

Frank Ponta was an Australian athlete, swimmer, fencer, and basketball player, who was influential in the development of wheelchair sport in Australia. As an athlete, he won a silver medal at the first Paralympic games in Rome in 1960; as a coach, he trained the likes of Louise Sauvage and Priya Cooper. He died in June last year, and was another posthumous inductee.

Finally, Chris Holmes, a British swimmer who won sixteen medals, including nine golds, during his Paralympic career. He is very busy these days with, in his words, "a sporting event that is going on in London at the moment".

This is the fourth time that Visa have hosted such an event. For the first time, the IPC invited members of the public to nominate athletes and coaches. Nominations also came from the national Paralympic committees, and international sporting bodies. The inductions are conducted every two years, alternating between winter and summer Paralympics. According to Sir Philip Craven, the Hall of Fame is both a way of celebrating sporting achievement, and of creating a sort of corporate memory.

To be eligible, nominees must have competed in at least two games, the more the better; and won, or coached athletes who have won, multiple medals, again the more the better. They must have retired before the previous games, in this case before Beijing in 2008. However, the award also recognizes sportsmanship and service to the Paralympic community.



Sources

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