Four individuals to receive Paralympic Order in Athens

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November 1, 2013 (ISN) – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will award four individuals with the Paralympic Order – the highest tribute a person connected with the Paralympic Movement can achieve – on 23 November at the 2013 Paralympic Awards in Athens, Greece.

The 2013 Paralympic Order recipients include: Bob Balk, former Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council; Michael Barredo, former President of IBSA; Duncan Campbell, founder of wheelchair rugby; and Jonquil Solt, former Chairperson of the IPC Equestrian Committee and FEI Para Equestrian Technical Committee.

All of the recipients have made important contributions to the Paralympic Movement and have illustrated the Paralympic ideals either in the sporting world or via outstanding services to the cause of the Movement.

Bob Balk is a six-time Paralympian who won six medals between 1994 and 2006 at summer and winter Games. In 2004, he was elected to the IPC Athletes’ Council and five years later became the group’s Chairperson. During his four years as Chair, he oversaw the first Paralympic Reunion event in London, the first Athlete Leadership Summit, the launch of the International Paralympians Association, and ensured that there was an athlete representative on all IPC standing committee.

Having lost his sight in an accident in 1979, Michael Barredo helped develop sports for visually impaired people around the world as well as grow para-sport in his native Philippines. After starting out as a competent athlete, Barredo moved into sports administration and during 34 years has served many positions, most notably as President of IBSA from 2005-2013. He was also the founding President of the National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines in 1997.

Duncan Campbell is acknowledged throughout the world as the creator of the sport that is today called wheelchair rugby. In 1976, he and a small group of friends developed the basic rules, regulations and chair design that form the basis of this high impact, hugely popular Paralympic team sport.

Previously a member of Canada’s national team, he remains active in the sport today as a player, recruiter, motivator, teacher and tactician in British Colombia. He serves as a mentor to great players such as Canada’s Garett Hickling and Ian Chan, and he has introduced wheelchair rugby to countless people as a recreation therapist in Vancouver.

Jonquil Solt has been involved in equestrian for people with an impairment since 1965 and was the first person to organise an international dressage competition for riders with an impairment.

She was the founding Vice-Chairperson of the IPC Equestrian Committee in 1991, and four years later took over as Chair. During her leadership, she set out most of the sport’s infrastructure and, together with a team of experts, developed equestrian into a viable Paralympic sport.

Equestrian made its Paralympic debut at the Atlanta 1996 Games and in 2001, she oversaw the sport’s integration into FEI after years of progressive contact and growth.

Solt remained as Chairperson of the FEI Equestrian Technical Committee until her retirement in 2008.

For more information, and to view a full list of past Paralympic Order recipients, please visit http://www.paralympic.org/TheIPC/HWA/TheParalympicOrder 

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