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Raising The Bar: New Horizons in Disability Sport

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raisingthebarRaising The Bar: New Horizons in Disability Sport – Featuring the work of ten international photographers and thirty international athletes

New York, NY: After its premiere in March 2005, the Raising the Bar exhibition returns for one additional month in support of the meeting of delegates at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Power, Speed, Agility: these qualities are necessary to any athlete. More than any other public sports event, para-athletics challenge us to think about these qualities and about athleticism in new and exhilarating ways. Para-sports are a new frontier for human achievement, athletes with physical disabilities—but without limitations.

Raising the Bar: New Horizons in Disability Sports is a traveling exhibition based on the companion book by the same title. It is an intimate, visually rich, elegantly produced portrayal of the international para-athletic community: individuals with disabilities who compete in a wide panalopy of events—from fencing to boccia, shot put to downhill slalom, cycling to equestrian events, swimming and wheelchair tennis to sitting volleyball and sailing. From the first international games in 1952 at Stoke Mandeville to today’s newly high-profile Paralympic events, the athletes who strive for excellence against physical challenges and social stigma are true pioneers. They bring new depth and dignity to the human effort to succeed and excel against hostile odds.

The Raising the Bar exhibition includes 35 large-sized, handsomely frames images in both color and black and white, with captions in French, Spanish, and English, six text panels with inspirational quotations by athletes from the US, France, China, Switzerland, and New Zealand, two title panels, and one sponsor panel. With striking images taken by award-winning international photographers, the exhibition is a paean to diversity in many aspects: sport, disability, nationality, and gender.

While the Paralympics has become the elite showcase of disability sport, filling Olympic Stadiums to capacity and eliciting enthusiastic responses worldwide, this is only one venue of many. The companion book Raising the Bar with an essay by Artemis Joukowsky and Larry Rothstein, and an introduction by Christopher Reeve, goes beyond the average compilation of images of gold-medal winners at the Paralympic events to depict the daily struggles and victories of Paralympic hopefuls in training, portraits of athletes at home and at play, and brief interviews with individuals who have succeeded in pushing their physical capabilities beyond their limits. Together, these introduce us to a new breed of heroes who are able to triumph by sheer grit and determination, combined at times with ingenuity and the mastery of new technological advances. Raising the Bar examines those new technological advances in adaptive technology that have catapulted competition into new dimensions—advances that, among other triumphs, allow double-amputees to match or better the world records set by Olympic athletes twenty years ago. New training strategies, new technology, new awareness of what individuals with disabilities are capable of, new organized communities focused on these unique challenges: all these and more are celebrated in this ground-breaking publication.

The Raising the Bar exhibition generous sponsors include The Starr Foundation, the Joukowsky Family Foundation, Hampshire College, The Hartford, US Paralympics, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

For additional information please contact:
Amy Deneson at 212.965.0197 x2#

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