May 8, 2014 (ISN) – National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) declared themselves impressed by the progress made toward staging the Rio 2016 Games after visiting the city for the first NPC Open Day in the history of the Paralympic Movement.
More than 40 delegates from 17 countries spanning the five continents spent two days in Rio being updated on the project by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and visiting competition sites across the city.
While Rio 2016 and previous Games organising committees had already hosted numerous open days for National Olympic Committees, this was the first time such an event had been tailored specifically for NPCs – the organisations that prepare the athletes from their respective countries for the Games.
IPC Vice President and Brazilian Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said: “The feedback so far is very positive. When visiting the Paralympic Village, and when walking in the Olympic Park viewing the works, the impression that things were not moving vanishes.”
Qayser Sachdev, IPC NPC Relations Manager, said: “This was the first time an organising committee has held an open day for National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and it has proven to be a success which future Games organisers should look to repeat in years to come. The mood was positive and the NPCs leave assured that Rio is on track to deliver a great Games in 2016. Delegates were particularly impressed with the Paralympic Village which will have its own distinct atmosphere and accessible facilities. Having a training site within the Village will mean the majority of athletes will have access to world class training facilities without having to leave the Village.”
Rio 2016 Director of NOC and NPC Services and Olympic and Paralympic Village Mario Cilenti said: “We have shared a lot of information, held productive meetings and received some very useful feedback. We know the importance of dialogue and working closely together with our stakeholders and we will use these insights and discussions to further develop and fine tune our services to National Paralympic Committees and their athletes. They will be the heart and soul of the Rio 2016 Games.”
Hans Safstrom, Sport Director at the Swedish Paralympic Committee, said: “I was here in November and even since then we can see that a lot of things have happened. For example at the athletes’ village, the last time work had started on three buildings, and now they are finished and there is a lot more building happening.
“Last time we were told about the changes to be done at the athletics stadium, now the work has started. Also there’s the construction work in the port area and on the roads coming through the mountains from Barra to the city. Things have happened. I think so far Rio is looking really good and I look forward to coming back and seeing more progress.”