There it is: The Olympic Fire is kindled.
As it is traditional the Paralympics take place directly after the Olympic Games in London. For our federation that means a lot of pleasant anticipation and stress. Our athletes prepare meticulously four years for this major event. Four years of investing large sums in this preparation to compete internationally.
Even before the first competitions, Lower Austria achieved a great victory. 10 of 32 athletes (nearly a third!) who qualified for the Paralymic Games are coming from our federation!
In the athletics Robert Mayr represents Lower Austria. The below knee amputee and brilliant sprinter has the chance to prove himself in London. Over 200 metres Robert could undercut the A-Limit several times and is one of the fastest European at this distance.
Our Cycling Team is represented by two of our athletes. Helmut Winterleitner, who starts in the class of people with cerebral palsy, is one of our medal hopes. In preparation for these Games Wolfgang Eibeck had an accident with a car; however, thank God he did not suffer serious injuries, so he is still a clear favourite for the road races in London.
Our Swim Team is also represented by two of our athletes. Arm-amputated Andreas Onea is, especially as no.3 of the World Ranking List in 100m breast, one of our biggest hopes. After a long period finally a woman Sabine Weber-Treiber (paraplegic) qualified for the Paralympics.
Team-chef Sven Reiger and Kurt Badstöber (both Lower Austria) are two of the three-member Sailing Team. In view of the international professionalization and the enormously high costs of this sport, even the qualification (thanks to Sven Reiger) is an exceptional achievement.
A new face and, to our great joy, a woman managed under great effort to get a ticket to London. Thanks to Henriette Koosz, it is the first time that Lower Austria is represented in Women´s Wheelchair-tennis.
Last, but not least we place great hopes in our Wheelchair Table-Tennis Players. With Doris Mader we have great chances in the Woman´s event and with Andreas Vevera we have a title defender at the table. It will be a special challenge for Andreas Vevera to try to defend his gold medal of Peking in the single event.
We will try to provide you with background information. From august the 20th, the day when our athletes enter the airplane, they are in the care of the ÖPC. In 2008 in Peking and in 2010 in Vancouver our colleagues made an excellent and professional job, so the ÖPC´s information service is because of its actuality very recommendable.
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