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Paralympics build momentum on the road to Toronto 2015

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The strength we see in wheelchair basketball, archery and other Paralympic sports inspires everyone to be more confident that the human spirit can triumph over adversity. And Paralympic sports are achieving much more than inspiration. Many Paralympic athletes have overcome their physical limitations with innovative training techniques and fitness regimens that coaches in traditional Olympic sports are adapting to aim higher in the quest for new world’s records. When the Commonwealth Games concluded last weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, Paralympic sports attained even better visibility as the competitions took place alongside the other sports events. Now, the International Paralympic Swimming and Wheelchair Rugby Championships are showing fans the strength of the Paralympic spirit at competitions in Holland and Denmark. And today, August 7, the Toronto 2015 team is marking the one-year countdown to the start of the Parapan Games in Toronto on August 7 next year.

Toronto 2015 host country Canada is getting a head start on preparations for the 2015 Parapan Games by hosting two major Paralympic sports international competitions this month. Halifax, Canada will present the world championships in sailing from August 14 to 24. Edmonton, Canada will welcome the ITU World triathlon championships August 25 to September 1, where Paralympic athletes will compete concurrently with other athletes from around the world. This good experience is also helping to build the foundation of sponsorship support. TransCanada, Telus and united Cycle Sport are sponsoring the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. The Atlantica Hotel in Halifax has arranged a modest hospitality program for Halifax 2014. The amount of financial support is not that large, but every dollar counts for Paralympic athletes who often have few choices for good paying jobs while they train.

The 2015 Parapan Games will take place August 7 to 15, 2015 and invite athletes from 41 countries in the Western Hemisphere. Sixteen hundred Paralympic athletes are expected to attend. Fifteen different sports will be featured and fourteen will also serve as qualifying events for the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio de Janerio.