Henry_Storgaard_Nov_5The Canadian Paralympic Committee is embarking on the most ambitious plan in its 35-year history. Without a doubt, the hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games has catapulted Canada into a new era.

At home, the most successful Paralympic Winter Games for a Canadian team has created a heightened awareness about our Paralympians and Paralympic sport. With 65 hours of television coverage, 13.6 million Canadians tuned into the excitement and high performance experience that the Games offered – and they were hooked!

This unprecedented visibility captured not only the hearts and minds of Canadians, but also the support of the Government of Canada, as the Canadian Minister of State for Sport, the Honourable Gary Lunn, announced a new financial contribution of $5 million (£3 million) annually over the next five years.

The funding has triggered a new vision that will position Canada as a strong leader in Paralympic sport as well as ensure a sustainable Paralympic system in Canada.

To achieve this, we will work closely with our partners to build a world-class Paralympic Sport System, a new business model and a stronger awareness of Paralympic sport and of the Paralympic brand in Canada.

Leading this vision are several individuals that are new to the CPC's board of directors. Dr David Legg was appointed as the new president on October 23 after having spent 11 years on the board. At his side, 21-medal holder and Paralympic star, Chantal Petitclerc, was named as a new member at large.

Our future is bright and our potential is enormous.

Now, more than ever, our athletes will have the confidence that their Paralympic dreams are within reach, and that every Canadian will stand behind them while celebrating their accomplishments!

Henry Storgaard is the chief executive of the Canadian Paralympic Committee