September 24 - German company Otto Bock has been appointed as the official supplier of technical services for athletes competing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.
The agreement was announced at the XI International Investment Forum in Sochi, a key business event being held at the Black Sea resort, which is staging the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in two years' time.
Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured top, right) signed the agreement with Oliver Jakobi, general director of Otto Bock in Russia.
Otto Bock will provide a team of technicians to provide maintenance and repair of prostheses, ortheses and wheelchairs used by competitors.
The company also performed maintenance and repair services for the more than 4,000 competitors at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which finished earlier this month.
Otto Bock has provided such services to the Paralympic Games since 1988, and Jakobi said: "Support of the Paralympic Movement has long since become an integral part of our company culture.
"The Paralympic Games demonstrate in an inspiring way that people with limited mobility can not only live an active life but can also achieve impressive athletic successes.
"For almost 25 years, Otto Bock specialists have repaired the equipment of thousands of athletes at Paralympic Games and other sporting events around the world.
"I am convinced that our experts' experience will help properly support the Paralympic athletes at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi in 2014 and therewith contribute to the overall success of the Games."
Chernyshenko added: "I am glad that the official supplier of technical equipment for the Paralympic athletes is the world-renowned company Otto Bock.
"The reliability and high quality of this company's services cannot be doubted – it has successfully collaborated with the International Paralympic Committee for more than 20 years.
"A common goal unites the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and the Otto Bock Company – to attract as much attention as possible to the successes of the Paralympic athletes and to the theme of the Paralympic Movement."
Otto Bock was founded in 1919 by German orthopaedic technician Otto Bock to provide products for those left disabled after the First World War.
The firm operates in 46 countries, and has been a worldwide partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2005, an agreement that is in place until the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
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February 2011: Otto Bock sign-up as London 2012 Paralympic sponsor