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Observation And Collaboration At Sochi 2014 Chefs De Mission Seminar

Team Canada Chef de Mission Ozzie Sawicki inspects venues, gauges progress of 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia

SOCHI, Russia, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Venue visits, detailed questioning and a spirit of collaboration marked the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games Chefs de Mission Seminar that finished today in Sochi, Russia.

Team Canada Chef de Mission Ozzie Sawicki was among representatives of 36 National Paralympic Committees to receive updates on preparations for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. The seminar ran from March 20 to 22 and included tours of Mountain and Coastal venues as well as Athlete Villages at both locations. View photos on Facebook.com/CDNParalympics

"The Chefs de Mission Seminar provided the opportunity to engage with the Sochi organizing committee on key areas in preparation for the Games," reported Sawicki, a resident of Cochrane, Alberta. "Many areas are certainly moving forward, as we saw an unprecedented volume of construction well on its way. The brand new curling and hockey arenas in the Coastal Cluster appear ready to host our world class athletes. The Mountain venues for para-alpine skiing, para-snowboard, para-Nordic skiing and biathlon are equally impressive."

The Games will take place from March 7 to 16, 2014 and are set to be the biggest yet with around 700 athletes from 45 nations competing in 72 medal events.

Functional areas covered in plenary sessions at the Chefs de Mission Seminar included Accommodation, Accreditation, Sport Entries and Ticketing, among others.

"We found the Sochi Organizing Committee to be most hospitable and open to feedback and input," said Sawicki. "They are clearly excited to be hosting the Games and volunteers are enthusiastic and helpful. I'd like to thank all involved in putting together this invaluable Chefs de Mission Seminar. I'm really looking forward to returning to Russia with Team Canada next year!"

Canada expects to send approximately 50 athletes to compete at the Sochi Paralympic Games, with the Canadian Paralympic Team to be officially announced in February 2014.

Sawicki's final site visit to Sochi will take place in October 2013.

HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHY AVAILABLE at https://www.yousendit.com/download/UVJoSlI1MHdwcFZsQXNUQw

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee:

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