“The IPC’s 25th anniversary celebrations were not just one of the highlights of the year for me, but one of the stand-out features of my Presidency."
The International Paralympic Committee celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014 with a number of initiatives that not only aimed to celebrate what had been achieved since 1989 but look ahead to the future.
Leaders from the world of sport, politics and entertainment celebrated with the IPC as the whole Paralympic Movement came together to mark the landmark which is why it is No. 3 in the IPC Top 50 Moments of 2014.
Although the IPC’s actual 25th anniversary was on 22 September 2014, the landmark was not fully celebrated until early October when hundreds of people from around the Paralympic Movement gathered in Berlin, Germany.
The purpose of the three day event was to celebrate the IPC’s 25th anniversary and to discuss the Paralympic Movement’s future strategic direction.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven opened the event with a speech highlighting the past, present and future of the Movement.
IOC delegate member Sam Ramsamy was also in attendance, and praised the relationships between the IPC and IOC, before urging the IPC to ‘fine tune’ for the future.
The IPC Membership Gathering also helped to shape the next four-year Strategic Plan which will be published in early 2015.
A special Gala Dinner was held on 4 October. Hosted by British Paralympian Lord Chris Holmes and Channel 4’s Dariane Mulvihill, it aimed to chart the 25 year history of the IPC.
More than 350 guests attended including Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Dr. Thomas de Maiziere, the German Minister of the Interior, Bernd Kroemer, the Berlin Secretary of State.
During the evening there were a number of video and written messages from a number of world leaders.
Grammy award winners Coldplay, who closed the London 2012 Paralympics, opened the event with a video message before the likes of US President Barak Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and IOC President Thomas Bach gave messages of congratulations and support to the Paralympic Movement.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon even announced he was “proud to be a fan” of the Paralympic Movement.
“The IPC’s 25th anniversary celebrations were not just one of the highlights of the year for me, but one of the stand-out features of my Presidency,” said IPC President Sir Philip Craven. “To see so many world leaders from the world of sport, politics and entertainment paying tribute to the success and growth of the Paralympic Movement was testament to the amazing hard work and dedication of all those involved in what we do.
“I also enjoyed the IPC Membership Gathering that we staged in Berlin. It was a great opportunity for all IPC members to have their say on the key issues affecting the Paralympic Movement without the politics of a General Assembly getting in the way. There was a lot of fruitful and constructive dialogue and I would like to thank all those who attended and got involved.”
At the dinner, the IPC also launched two new videos. The first marked the IPC’s first 25 years, whilst the other looked ahead to the future.
To coincide with the 25th anniversary, the IPC ran a global competition inviting people to nominate their favourite para-sport moment of the last quarter of a century.
Hundreds of people took part and all those who participated were entered into a free prize draw to win the trip of a lifetime to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Once all the entries were in, the IPC Governing Board had the almost impossible task of finalising a list of the Top 25 Moments which were published here.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games were judged to be the best moment from the IPC’s history and thanks to IPC international partner BP, a special book was produced commemorating the 25 historic moments.