Brazil marks milestone

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Reinforcing the policy of integrating the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the whole country, the Games Organizing Committee accepted the invitation from the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB in the Portuguese acronym) and flew to Brasá¡lia, the country's capital city, on Friday 18 March 2011, to celebrate the 2,000 days to go to the Paralympic Games.

The event was held alongside CPBs General Assembly, which was held at the Royal Tulip Hotel and was attended by the Brazilian Paralympic Committee president, Andrew Parsons; Rio 2016 CEO, Leonardo Gryner; and representatives of the countrys Paralympic Sports governing bodies. In February 2011, the Organising Committee had already celebrated the 2, 000 days to go to the Olympic Games with a ceremony at the Amazonas Theatre, in the Northern city of Manaus. At the event in Brasália, the Rio 2016 Committee was honoured by the CPB with a commemorative plaque, handed over to Leonardo Gryner. I would like to thank you on behalf of [Organising Committee president Carlos Arthur] Nuzman for this beautiful tribute. Our president has a big commitment, which is passed on to every one of us within the organisation, to ensure our planning is fully integrated and that, obviously, the same level of service is offered in both events, contributing towards a legacy for the country. I think our next goal as a legacy should be to raise awareness within the Brazilian society about the need to incorporate issues relating to accessibility in their day–to–day activities. Gryner took the opportunity to update the Assembly on the latest developments in the planning for the Paralympics. We are now beginning the development of the Paralympic Games logo and hope to unveil it by the second half of the year, he said. The Brazilian Paralympic Committee president acknowledged that both Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games have been organised with the same high standard of planning. I would like to express my happiness to have a single Organising Committee for both events. This partnership began in 2001 when we launched a joint bid for the Pan American and Parapan American Games Rio 2007. And it was an absolute success. This was one the legacies of the event: to have the same city staging both competitions. From the outset, the aim of this Committee was to bring Brazilian sports together in the same organisation, said Parsons. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who is travelling overseas and could not attend the ceremony, sent a video message, in which he highlighted the commitment of all involved in the making of the Paralympic Games. Today is a very happy day. The day we celebrate progress in the organisation and preparation for the Paralympic Games, and especially in the will, spirits and conviction that we will stage in 2016 the most successful Paralympic Games ever held. We will keep on working very hard, strive as if it was already the Opening Ceremony day. Together we will build this great legacy for the Paralympic Games and for Paralympic Sports in Brazil. In November 2010, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president, Xavier Gonzalez, said he was excited and pleased to see how Rio de Janeiro is preparing to hold the 2016 Paralympic Games. The visit was part of the first meeting between the IPC and the Rio 2016 Committee to review the project of the Paralympic Games in the city.

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