By Tom Degun

AtosApril 15 - International IT services company Atos has extended its Worldwide Paralympic sponsorship through to Rio 2016 after agreeing a new deal with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The deal sees Atos retain its status as Worldwide Paralympic IT Partner for both the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Games.

The French multi-national IT firm became an official Worldwide Paralympic IT Partner in 2008 but has been an IT Partner at every Paralympics since Salt Lake City in 2002.

There were protests against Atos in the lead up to and during the London 2012 Paralympics after its work assessments on behalf of the British Government caused thousands of people to lose their Disability Living Allowance benefit.

This culminated in a demonstration outside Atos' headquarters in London during the Paralympics which ended in a confrontation with the police.

But the IPC has stood resolutely by Atos, resulting in an extension of the sponsorship deal.

"There is no doubt that the expertise and experience of Atos Business technologists has had a positive impact on the development of the Paralympic Movement," said IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez.

"Atos has helped the IPC to grow and offer better services to our members, National Paralympic Committees, athletes and competition organisers.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership with Atos and look forward to working together to further strengthen the organisation."
Atos protestsAtos faced protests during the London 2012 Paralympic Games

In addition to its work at the Paralympic Games, the new deal will see Atos business technologists provide expertise and support for over 20 other major IPC events including the 2013 IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon in July and the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal in August.

The company will also continue its engagement in future joint fundraising activities, while its commitment to the Agitos Foundation will remain in place as part of its contribution to progress and enhance society through social innovation.

"At Atos, we strongly believe in and support the Paralympic Movement and are delighted to be able to extend our long term relationship through to 2016," said Atos' executive vice-president of major events and Olympic and Paralympic Games Patrick Adiba.

"Our business technologists will continue to write history for the Paralympic Movement.

"This helps the IPC to stage world class events and bring the sporting excellence of Paralympians to an international audience."

Under the new agreement, Atos will make information technology products and services available to the IPC and to the different sport events, as well as continuing to manage and run the IPC website, which was launched in February last year and saw visitor numbers in 2012 increase by 489 per cent on 2011.

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