International Paralympic Committee News Box.

IPC Press Release: International Paralympic Committee News Box, Jeff Crow of Australia’s Sport the Library has won the photography category of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) 2011 Paralympic Media Awards. The awards recognize the highest quality and most dynamic photo from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and Crow’s winning photo features Australian sit skier Shannon Dallas competing in the slalom event.

Crow was a photographer contracted by the Australian Paralympic Committee to capture its teams in action at the Games and his images were used extensively by Australian media outlets during the international event.

Other finalists for the photography award included:
– New Zealand’s Hannah Johnston (Getty Images) for her photo of Daisuke Uehara and Mitsuru Nagases of Japan celebrating after winning their Ice Sledge Hockey semi-final game;
– Canada’s Jason Payne (Vancouver Sun) for his photo from the Opening Ceremony featured on the front page of the Vancouver Sun
– Belgium’s Lieven Coudenys (Freelance) for his photo of Russia’s Irek Zaripov receiving one of his three gold medals from the Games;
– Canada’s Mark Van Manen (Vancouver Sun) for his parade of champions photo depicting Canada’s delegation making its way toward the Closing Ceremony.

The photography category was open to all accredited photographers from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. Nominees submitted photos depicting everything from sport competitions to the Paralympic Torch Relay to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The award will officially be presented to Crow at the gala dinner during the IPC General Assembly in Beijing, China, on 10 December.

2. Gary Kingston from Canada’s Vancouver Sun has won the written category of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) 2011 Paralympic Media Awards.

The awards recognize the highest quality and most dynamic written piece in print or online from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Kingston not only covered Canadian athletes, yet also reported on international heroes in a thorough, fair, balanced and enlightening manner.

He provided readers with background information on athletes and human interest stories, and capped off his time at the Games with a story on how Canada’s best-ever Paralympics may serve as a launch pad for the next generation.

Other highlights from his work included a story on Alexi Salamone, an orphaned Ukrainian-born hockey star who was raised by Americans, and a profile piece on Team Canada’s Paul Rosen, who lost his leg and his wife, but is happier than ever with his true love of sport.

Canada’s Terry Bell of the Vancouver Province was the other finalist for the award, as many of his pieces focused on the athletes themselves rather than just plain competition results. The written category was open to all magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and websites for an editorial piece on the overall coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games or a Paralympic athlete or team.

The award will officially be presented to Kingston at a gala dinner during the IPC General Assembly in Beijing, China, on 10 December.

3. Prior to November’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is counting down the top 10 storylines to watch. Today, we begin with Mexican swimmer Nely Miranda at No. 10.

Mexican swimming sensation Nely Miranda would rather keep the waters calm heading into major competitions such as next month’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara. The 29-year-old, who won two gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, does not like to strut her stuff as one of North America’s top swimmers.

“I could be top five,” a very humble Miranda said in regards to the world’s best swimmers in the S4 category.

At the Parapans, which will be held from 12-20 November, 1,500 athletes from 26 different nations will compete in 13 sports. “Every international competition has its own degree of importance,” Miranda said. “Of course the competitive level is higher at the Paralympics, however, Guadalajara is important because you are competing to qualify for London.”

While individuals themselves cannot qualify for London 2012 in Guadalajara, the races will be important, as athletes will be able to earn qualification spots for their respective countries.

Miranda will swim in the 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle S4 races in Mexico, all of which she won at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

She insists she is much stronger in the 50m and 100m – races she won gold in at Beijing 2008 – than the 200m.

Or at least she tells herself that so she can be realistic when it comes to medalling, she said.

In both the 50m and 100m, Miranda ranks second in the world this year behind the Netherlands’ Lisette Teunissen, so she will be the highest-ranked swimmer in those events in Guadalajara.

In the 200m, she currently ranks third in the world behind Teunissen and the USA’s Cheryl Angelelli, who will not be competing in Guadalajara.

So on paper, Miranda could potentially perform a clean sweep next month in her home country.

In preparation for Guadalajara, Miranda has been swimming an average of five to seven kilometres per day in addition to working out at the gym.

She is balancing all of that with her duties for the Mexican government. Miranda is the acting general deputy of Veracruz, which means she is in charge of three governmental committees: Youth in Sport, No Discrimination and Vulnerable Groups.

As someone who has achieved greatness in both sport and public administration, there is nobody better than Miranda to represent Mexico as one of the faces of the host nation at the Parapan American Games.

For more information on the Guadalajara Parapan American Games, please visit http://parapan.guadalajara2011.org.mx/en.

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