Sir Philip_Craven_in_front_of_Paralympic_flagWe are now into the third week of 2012 and I still feel the same levels of excitement that I experienced when I watched on television the stunning fireworks display in London that marked the start of Paralympic year.

And what a year I believe we have in store.

The year ahead has the potential to propel the Paralympic Movement to new, unimaginable levels.

I think what happened in Beijing in 2008 surprised many people. However, as we approach the magical 200-days-to-go marker on February 11, I believe the level of expectation for London is much higher than it was for Beijing.

I am extremely confident that Seb Coe and his excellent team at LOCOG will deliver a very different Games from Beijing, taking the best aspects of previous Games to create something quite amazing that could surpass what was achieved in 2008.

With the whole Paralympic Movement working together, I believe we can deliver something very special in London, which would be fitting as Great Britain is the country where the whole Paralympic Movement started in 1948.

It's hard to believe that it was just 64 years ago that Sir Ludwig Guttmann gathered a handful of injured servicemen and women on a patch of grass behind Stoke Mandeville Hospital for an archery competition.

Back then, I doubt anyone would have predicted that London in the year 2012 would host 4,200 athletes from 160 countries competing in 20 sports.

Sir Ludwig_Guttmann_16-01-12
Thanks to Sir Ludwig Guttmann's vision and the continued excellent work of our members and athletes, we have the opportunity to write the next chapter in the exceptional success story of the Paralympic Games in London later this year.

Aside from London in 2012, the IPC will continue to work hard with the organisers of future Paralympic Games. We will also implement lots of activity in conjunction with our members to achieve the six strategic goals outlined in the IPC strategic plan launched last year.

The Paralympic Games always creates mass awareness for the Movement and it is vitally important that we use them to help increase participation at all levels to ensure that for future Games there is a greater depth of talented athletes across all sports.

To help create greater awareness of the Paralympic Movement, the IPC will launch a new-look website in the next few weeks. It will be the culmination of months of planning and hard work with our Worldwide Partner, Atos. Having seen a sneak preview of the website at December's IPC Governing Board meeting, I am sure it will not only service the needs of our members but attract new followers to the Movement.

For the first time ever, we will have everything housed under one roof – videos, photo galleries, history, results, biographies – everything you need to know or would like to know about the Paralympic Movement all in one place at

Finally, may I wish all our athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and volunteers all the best for 2012 - a year that promises so, so much.

Sir Philip Craven is the President of the International Paralympic Committee