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Some of Australia’s top performers at the recent Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have rubbed shoulders with the people whose support for the Australian Paralympic Team played a key role in our Team’s success at the most challenging Games ever.

Dual Tokyo gold medallist Madi de Rozario and her coach, Para-athletics great Louise Sauvage, were among guests who attended a function at Cruise Bar in Sydney on Tuesday where Paralympics Australia paid tribute to sponsors who remained steadfast in their backing of the Team despite the many complications caused by the pandemic over the past two years.

“Paralympics Australia and the Para-athletes we represent are so grateful for the fact that all sponsors stayed with us during the dark uncertain days in 2020 and 2021,” Chief Executive Lynne Anderson told guests.

“PA will not forget the wonderful loyalty that helped us stay focused on the goal, which was delivering the Australian Paralympic Team to Tokyo safely, keeping our people safe and in the best shape to compete on the world stage and then bring them home healthy to their loved ones.”

Among the other Paralympians on hand were Tim Hodge who won three Para-swimming medals in Tokyo, boccia player Dan Michel who won Australia’s first medal in the sport in 25 years, silver medallist Para-swimmer Ahmed Kelly and Para-cyclists Carol Cooke and Gordon Allan.

They were joined by about 70 representatives of PA’s sponsors, including from Allianz, Woolworths, Citi, Harvey Norman, News Limited, Seven Network, Essendon FC, NDSP, Speedo and Mizuno.

Anderson shared with guests some of the outstanding behind-the-scenes results from Tokyo 2020.

“What we delivered has set a new benchmark in so many ways,” she said.

“Tokyo was the most watched Paralympic Games in Australian history with more than 7.5 million Australians watching Seven’s coverage. The primetime figures more than tripled the previous record set in Beijing in 2008 after the Opening Ceremony became the most watched ever, eclipsing the previous record by 42 percent.”

Anderson revealed that PA’s digital platforms experienced the fastest growth among National Sporting Organisations in 2021.

“Compared to the professional sports and the NSOs with bigger teams and bigger budgets, the achievements of our Digital Marketing and Communications staff were nothing short of incredible,” she said.

“And of course, our Virtual Seats campaign exceeded our wildest expectations by generating more than $2.37 million in sales. It was unbelievable.”

“On behalf of Paralympics Australia and our athletes, we wanted to thank our sponsor family and celebrate the significant role they played in our success in Tokyo as we now get ready for our next big venture at the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games next March.

“We look forward to working with our partners in 2022 and beyond.”

By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 16 December 2021