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International Paralympic Committee
The agitos, seen with the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games cauldron, is the symbol for the Paralympic Movement. Adopted by the International Paralympic Committee in 2003, the agito ("I move" in Latin) is a symbol of movement in the shape of an asymmetrical crescent.
Based in Bonn, Germany, the International Paralympic Committee is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games, both summer and winter, and acts as the International Federation for nine sports―alpine skiing/snowboarding, Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross-country skiing), powerlifting, shooting, sled hockey, swimming, track and field and wheelchair dance sport), coordinating and supervising the world championships and other competitions for those sports.
The vision of the IPC, run by 200 members, is “To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.” The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. The IPC also aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
Baltimore-based swimmer Jessica Long is one of the most decorated Paralympic athletes competing. At 12 years old, she made her debut at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, winning three gold medals. She now has 17 medals from three Games, including 12 golds.
Introduced at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, the Paralympic motto is "Spirit in Motion," which replaced "Mind, Body, Spirit," introduced in 1994. Along with the unveiling of the new motto, the IPC introduced the new Paralympic symbol at the 2004 Games, following it's creation in 2003. The Paralympic symbol, the agitos, which is to the Paralympic Movement what the rings are to the Olympic Movement, consists of three agitos, colored red, blue and green, the three colors that are most widely represented in national flags around the world.
Founded on Sept. 22, 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organization formed and run by more than 160 National Paralympic Committees from five regions (Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania). The United States Paralympic Committee is U.S. Paralympics, a division of the non-profit United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and operates out of the Americas region.
The IPC is a sister-organization to the International Olympic Committee, which holds the same role in the Olympic Movement. After years of informally working together, the IPC and IOC signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding in 2000, covering the basic principles and relationships between the two bodies. The document enables the Paralympic Games to always follow the Olympic Games in the same city, using the same venues.
The upcoming Games include: Rio 2016 Olympic/Paralympic Games, PyeongChang 2018 Olympic/Paralympic Winter Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games.
For more information on the IPC, visit Paralympic.org.