By Gary Anderson

February 5 – Vancouver 2010 Paralympian Mark Arendz features in a new Canadian TV campaign focussing on athletes skills rather than disabilities ©Getty Images With just over a month to go until the start of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, a new marketing campaign has been launched in Canada which highlights the skills and abilities of athletes rather than their disabilities.

Running under the tag line "It's not what's missing, it's what's there", the campaign features a number of Canadian athletes set to compete at Sochi 2014 taking part in a TV campaign as well as print and digital advertisements.

The campaign is designed to encourage fans to look past physical differences and concentrate instead on the hard work and raw talent that these athletes bring to their sport.

Vancouver 2010 Paralympian Mark Arendz, Para-snowboarder Michelle Salt and ice sledge hockey players Tyler McGregor and Dominic Larocque are featured in a special TV film which highlights their skill and speed.

The video, created by advertising firm BBDO Toronto, focuses on only a select portion of each athlete at first, using a letterbox effect before revealing the athletes' full identities at the very end of each scene.

"This campaign is an awesome opportunity to increase awareness and demonstrate what we as Paralympic athletes are capable of," said Nordic skier Arendz.

"I'm so proud to be a part of this project and I hope it will inspire Canadians to follow Team Canada and cheer for us when we compete in Sochi next month."

Arendz, Salt, McGregor and Larocque are also among 14 athletes featured in the "What's There" print and digital ads which includes snowboarder Tyler Mosher, alpine skiers Josh Dueck and Kimberly Joines, Nordic skier Brian McKeever along with guide Erik Carleton, as well as the Canadian wheelchair curling team of Sonja Gaudet, Ina Forrest, Jim Armstrong, Dennis Thiessen and Mark Ideson, who will be looking to secure a third straight Paralympic title in Sochi.

Members of the reigning Paralympic wheelchair curling champions, Canada feature in the "What's There" campaign ©Bongarts/Getty Images Members of the reigning Paralympic wheelchair curling champions, Canada feature in the "What's There" campaign ©Bongarts/Getty Images

"When we look at Paralympic athletes, we can make the mistake of focusing on their disabilities, instead of their extraordinary abilities," said Simon Craig and JP Gravina, associate creative directors at BBDO Toronto.

"This campaign forces the viewer to see all the amazing things that make these Paralympic athletes great.

"To catch them in the midst of competition is an awe-inspiring experience by any definition."

Canada will send around 50 athletes to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, where they will be looking to at least match their third place finish in the overall medal standings at Vancouver 2010 behind Russia and Germany.

"The goal is to get Canadians on the edge of their seats and excited about the upcoming Paralympic Games," said Martin Richard, executive director, communications and marketing for the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC).

"Seeing these athletes compete at the level they do will get you hooked and we are thrilled to bring back the Paralympic excitement to Canadians with unprecedented coverage through our media consortium partners."

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