IPC Press Release Dec 01, 2011: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will award Four Devoted Individuals with the Paralympic Order – the highest tribute a person connected with the Paralympic Movement may achieve. The recipients will be presented with the honour at the Paralympic Awards Gala in the Intercontinental Hotel ballroom on 10 December in Beijing, China.
The 2011 Paralympic Order recipients include: Matthias Berg, seven-time Paralympian and involved member of the German National Paralympic Committee (NPC); Luca Pancalli, president of NPC Italy Nabil Salem, former president of NPC Egypt and the African Paralympic Committee; and the late Randy Snow, four-time Paralympian and devoted member of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
All of the recipients made important contributions to the Paralympic Movement and have illustrated the Paralympic ideals either in the sporting world or via their outstanding services to the cause of the Movement.
For instance, Pancalli, a winner of eight gold, six silver and one bronze medal in Swimming at the Paralympic Games, headed the formation of the Italian Paralympic Committee in 2003. He transformed the Italian Disabled Sport Federation into a governing body with similar duties and functions as the Italian Olympic Committee.
“I am very proud to receive this award because I spent a long part of my life in the field of sport,” Pancalli said. “I think what I have done in Italy could represent important contributions to the development of the Paralympic Movement.”
Serving simultaneous roles as both the president of NPC Italy and the vice president of Italy’s Olympic Committee, Pancalli helped facilitate a parallel growth between the two movements and increase the visibility and awareness at an international level for Italian athletes with an impairment.
Berg, meanwhile, has devoted his entire life to the Paralympic Movement as a dual-sport athlete in Alpine Skiing and Athletics and then as an active member of NPC Germany and the IPC. In the two sports combined, he won 11 gold and 17 overall medals between the World Championships and Paralympic Games. He has provided influential contributions to the IPC’s Athletes Council and its Legal and Ethics Committee.
Salem has contributed to the last nine Paralympic Games in various roles, including positions as vice president of the IPC, governing board member of the IPC and president of NPC Egypt. He was initially one of the founding members of the IPC.
Snow provided an immense contribution to the sport of Wheelchair Tennis as both a coach and player ambassador on numerous projects for the ITF in Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador and Thailand. He was a Paralympic and Olympic medallist himself, and was a 10-time US Open Wheelchair Tennis champion.
Snow passed away on 19 November, 2009, while in El Salvador running Wheelchair Tennis clinics and workshops for the ITF.
To view a list of past Paralympic Order recipients, please visit http://www.paralympic.org/IPC/Awards/Paralympic_Order/