Visa Sponsors Third Paralympic Hall of Fame Induction

VANCOUVER, March 11 /CNW/ - Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) once again will be the Presenting Partner for the Paralympic Hall of Fame (PHF) induction ceremony to be held in Whistler, B.C. on 14 March at 09.30 a.m. at the Paralympic Hospitality Centre, in conjunction with the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The induction ceremonies will feature the third group of Paralympic athletes to be inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The IPC has selected three Paralympic greats for induction in 2010. They are cross-country skier Tanja Kari (FIN), alpine skier Chris Waddell, (USA), and biathlon and cross-country skiing coach Rolf Hettich (GER). The three inductees were nominated by member organizations of the IPC based on their athletic performance, history of fair play and participation in community service. Kari, Waddell and Hettich then were selected by the IPC's Governing Board.

"Visa is again proud to be the presenting sponsor of this unique celebration honoring the achievements and spirit of Paralympic athletes and their coaches," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer, Visa Inc. "As the partner of the Paralympic Hall of Fame, we understand the power of the Paralympic movement and its exceptional ability to bring people, communities and nations together in peaceful sports competition. This sponsorship reaffirms Visa's commitment to the Paralympic Movement and to Paralympic athletes of the past, present and future."

The Paralympic Hall of Fame ensures that a permanent record and institutional memory is kept of top Paralympic athletes and coaches of all time, thus honouring the performers who achieved a high and sustained level of success in the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games.

"The IPC is proud to induct Chris Waddell, Tanja Kari and Rolf Hettich into the Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame. It is a thrill to be recognizing these three individuals and I congratulate their outstanding achievements on and off the field of play," said Sir Philip Craven, IPC President. "The Paralympic Hall of Fame not only celebrates excellence in competition, but it offers young athletes a positive role model to look up to in their future endeavours in Paralympic Sport. The IPC thanks Visa for their continued support and commitment."

In order to be eligible, athletes and coaches must have achieved a very high and sustained level of success at the Paralympic Games. They must also have consistently displayed a spirit of fair play, and made a positive contribution to the Paralympic Movement. They must have ceased their participation in Paralympic sporting competition for at least four years (one Paralympic Games cycle).

Paralympic Hall of Fame election and induction ceremonies are held in conjunction with the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games, and consequently take place only during those years in which the Paralympic Games are held. The Paralympic Hall of Fame currently exists as a virtual Hall of Fame on the IPC Website at

Previous Paralympic Hall of Fame inductees on the website are:

2006 - Annemie Schneider (Germany) - Alpine Skiing; Jouko Grip (Finland) - Nordic Skiing; and Ulla Renvall (Sweden) - Nordic Skiing (Coach and Guide).

2008 - Connie Hansen (Denmark) - Athletics; Claudia Hengst (Germany) - Swimming; Peter Homann (Australia) - Cycling; André Viger (Canada) - Athletics; and Kevin McIntosh (Australia) - Cycling.

Visa has been a Worldwide Paralympic Partner and sponsor of the Paralympic Games since 2002 and recently extended its Paralympic Games sponsorship through 2012. Visa also is a worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Games and the exclusive payment card and official payment service for the Olympic Games and through 2020.

Notes to the Editor:

About the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organization formed and run by 161 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of words such as "will," "believes," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "expects," "projects," "plans" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements about future operations, prospects, plans and objectives of management and events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur. The forward-looking statements reflect Visa's current views and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual and future results and trends to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to Visa's ability to achieve its strategic objectives; general market conditions; uncertainties inherent in operating internationally; and the impact of law and regulations. Many of these factors are beyond Visa's ability to control or predict. Given these factors, you should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements.

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: For further information on the IPC, please contact Steffi Klein, IPC Media and Communications Senior Manager on e-mail: or go to or; For further information concerning Visa and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, please contact Nancy Panter in San Francisco at (415) 244-9857 or Teri Broughton at (416) 860-8869 in Toronto. More sponsorship information is available at

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