The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) today signed a memorandum of understanding during the Official Debriefing of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The agreement was signed on the last day of the event, which was devoted to staging the Paralympic Games.
The conference was attended by representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the IPC, the Organizing Committees of Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, as well as the management of the RIOU. The participants discussed numerous areas including developing a barrier-free environment for Paralympic athletes, building world-class competition venues and training staff in the special requirements of the Paralympic Games. The signing ceremony was attended by the IPC CEO, Xavier Gonzalez; Sochi 2014 President and CEO, Dmitry Chernyshenko; and RIOU CEO, Ivan Linkov. In the agreement, each organization agreed to take part in Sochi 2014 Excellence - a training program for staff run by IPC experts. The training of organizing staff at the next Winter Games will be based at the RIOU. The University is expected to adapt the standard program to ensure it is relevant to a Russian audience and include its own developments.
President and CEO of Sochi 2014 Dmitry Chernyshenko said:
"Russia’s first Paralympic Winter Games will be a catalyst for major changes in our country. This will not only include having facilities and infrastructure that meets the needs of people with a disability but also change the Russian public’s attitude towards disability. The knowledge and experience that the IPC have shared with us during the Debriefing will be incredibly useful in achieving our ambitious goal."
The Sochi 2014 Excellence program includes various forms of education such as lectures from experts and workshops. According to the memorandum, the RIOU will become a Sochi 2014 educational partner and will assume further responsibility for the education of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee staff, volunteers and Games subcontractors. The university will also conduct Paralympic research, develop its own educational programs for sport managers and provide consulting in cooperation with IPC.
IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez said:
"We are planning to collaborate with the Olympic University and are confident that the results of our collaborative work will be successful. The RIOU will provide education for students from more than 200 countries and the IPC will play an important role in its development by providing knowledge transfer. Daily communication with students will enhance all RIOU programs as they will be provided with regular updates on the latest information required by Paralympic sport managers. This project will deliver a worldwide Paralympic legacy.
RIOU CEO Ivan Linkov said:
“It’s symbolic that one of the first developments in the RIOU's participation in Sochi 2014 educational programs was signed during debriefing, which saw significant knowledge transfer from VANOC to Sochi 2014. The Sochi 2014 Excellence program provides new possibilities for the development of the Paralympic Movement in Russia and will help stage a successful of Winter Games."