‘Project RIO’ to support Austrian para-athletes26.01.2016
Austrian Ministry of Sports has given EUR 20 million to support athletes vying for Rio 2016 Games.
“Our Paralympic athletes are important role models. Therefore, they are fully integrated into the RIO campaign so that the public gets to know them."
The Austrian Ministry of Sports is placing EUR 20 million into “Project RIO” to help Austrian athletes prepare for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Of the 70 Austrian athletes being supported, 15 are para-athletes.
"The Austrian team for Rio should get what they need for their best preparation, and the last results show us that the direction is the right one,” said Gerald Klug, Austrian Minister of Sports.
Since 2013, EUR 5 million have been provided annually to support the athletes during their preparations for Rio 2016.
The Austrian Minister of Sports emphasised the growing importance of the Paralympics and the significance of equality between Olympic and Paralympic athletes in elite sport funding.
"It goes without saying that in government’s elite sport funding all athletes are equal – as well as in the Project RIO,” Klug said. “Our Paralympic athletes are important role models. Therefore, they are fully integrated into the RIO campaign so that the public gets to know them."
Maria Rauch-Kallat, President of the Austrian Paralympic Committee, said: “For the first time our Paralympic athletes are fully supported – athletically and financially.”
One of the information tools is the ‘Project RIO’ application for smart phones, which is free to download.
The 15 para-athletes in the Project RIO team are:
Markus Swoboda (canoe), Natalija Eder (athletics), Thomas Geierspichler (athletics), Bil Marinkovic (athletics), Günther Matzinger (athletics), Walter Ablinger (cycling), Wolfgang Eibeck (cycling), Thomas Frühwirth (cycling), Wolfgang Schattauer (cycling), Pepo Puch (equestrian), Andreas Onea (swimming), Sabine Weber-Treiber (swimming), Sven Reiger (sailing), Doris Mader (table tennis) and Stanislaw Fraczyk (table tennis).
Visit Austria’s Project RIO website for more information.