A Much Needed Thank You

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164 countries, 4,237 athletes and 70,000 volunteers are just a few quick numbers from the 2012 London Paralympic Games. There is no doubt that the athletes are deservingly featured in the Paralympics but where would the games be without support? To have an athletic event of this magnitude be a success, there needs be a corporate backbone that is willing to step-up and standby the image that these special games represent. For this reason I think this week it is only appropriate to give a little thanks to some of the sponsors that help make the Paralympics happen; without their aid and generosity the competitive nature and talent that is present in these games may not be able to be displayed.

When people think of the Olympics and Partnerships a red can of Coca-Cola and big golden arch are two of the immediate images that probably come to mind. While their efforts are greatly appreciated, there are other companies who do not seem to receive as much attention who are equally as deserving for the Paralympics.

Ottobock…no not the popular “Otterbox” iPhone case, is one of the leading makers in prosthetics and orthotics in the world. To help highlight the talent of the athletes, they created an exhibit for the London games that showcased the supporting gear used by some of the Paralympians. This provided those without handicaps the opportunity to engage with some of the equipment and realize just how much strength is required to compete at this level. Ottobock was also present throughout the London games to provide their services to help fix any damage to wheelchairs and other aids.

Atos is another name to be mentioned as one of the top information technology companies. While our blog strives to help promote and gain awareness for the Paralympics, sometimes visuals can make an even larger impact- this is what Atos did. The company helped revamp the Paralympic website and create (SMART) Sport Media Application in Real Time. This allowed various Paralympic sports to be streamed online providing a combination of live look-ins, updates, statistics, and other relevant information. I think this reflects a large step for the Paralympics because partnerships such as these help create additional and convenient outlets for increased viewership.

Allianz is the final company I would like to touch on as a major financial service provider and partner to the Paralympics. Since technology has created more opportunities, it is an extremely useful resource to convey an important message to a large body of people in a fashionable manner. Allianz created video features and webisodes that featured Paralympic athletes and select sports. While the Paralympics largely prides itself on competition, I think it is extremely important for the human stories that lie within sport to get out there. In many cases the Paralympics and other sporting activities have provided an outlet and safe haven to those who are unfortunately handicapped. At the end of the day there is a bigger story to tell beyond what may be recorded as a win or a loss.

I would like to personally say thank you to each of these companies as well as all of the other partners of the Paralympics. The support you have given and continue to provide help these athletes excel to the highest level and help the movement to share what a lot of people fail to see about the Paralympics. More information about these companies can be found on the websites below:

http://atos.net/en-us/home.html

http://www.allianzusa.com/about/?utm_campaign=Brand+%7C+ALLIANZ&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=allianz

http://www.ottobockus.com/

–Erika Schmid