By Duncan Mackay

Sir Paul HolmesFebruary 1 - Sir Paul Holmes, Patron of Paralympics New Zealand, has died, it has been announced.

He was 62 and had been suffering from prostate cancer.

Sir Paul was one of New Zealand's most popular television broadcasters and hosted a leading current affairs programme.

He was blind in one eye following a near-fatal car crash in 1973 during which he also suffered a neck fracture and brain haemorrhage.

Sir Paul had always been a great supporter of Paralympics New Zealand and in 1996 became Patron. 

While competing on Dancing with the Stars he nominated Paralympics New Zealand as his charity of choice.

Sir Paul claimed that seeing Paralympic sport for the first time in the summer of 1980 in Holland changed his life.  

He then continued that involvement in 1992 when he organised and presented a documentary at the Barcelona Paralympic Games. 

A similar documentary was then produced at the Atlanta Paralympic Games in 1996.

Sydney 2000 saw the first regular TV coverage of a Paralympic Games by TVNZ. 

Sir Paul was the face of this coverage and presented a daily one hour show that reported each day of the Games.

"Sir Paul Holmes has been a key contributor to Paralympic sport over many years and a hugely influential part of the Paralympic family," said Mark Copeland, chairman of Paralympics New Zealand.

"His support has helped to significantly raise our profile with the New Zealand public."

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