IPC inducts new members into its Hall of Fame
Sunday, September 2, 2012
The ceremony was hosted by Chris Wadell, a Paralympic skier who was himself inducted into the Hall of Fame at the, alongside , the current President of the (IPC).
, an 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 anathlete, 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.
, from the , 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 ; 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 inin 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, aswimmer 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 thathave 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. However, the award also recognizes sportsmanship and service to the Paralympic community.