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 ATLANTA, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In the largest show of corporate support ever for the Paralympic Games -- the zenith of competition for elite athletes with physical disabilities -- The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) today joined the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee (APOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in announcing:
 -- The Coca-Cola Company as the first worldwide sponsor of the 1996
 Atlanta Paralympic Games;
 -- A $1 million philanthropic grant from the Company in addition to
 the sponsorship agreement to support Paralympics activities; and
 -- The sponsorship of a Paralympic athlete in the International
 Olympic Torchbearers Program being staged prior to the '94 Winter
 Games in Norway.
 The next Paralympic Games will be staged in Atlanta, Aug. 16-27, 1996, shortly after the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games.
 Joining in the announcement at the worldwide headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company were Dr. Robert Steadward, president, IPC; G. Andrew Fleming, president and chief executive officer, APOC; and Douglas Ivester, executive vice president, The Coca-Cola Company, and principal operating officer/North America.
 "Coca-Cola's enthusiasm in sponsoring the '96 Paralympic Games underscores the growing understanding, appreciation and sensitivity to disabled persons worldwide," said Dr. Steadward. "But it also reflects the economic reality that some 20-percent of persons worldwide have some disability. That's a large market."
 "Corporate support for the Paralympic Games is vital to our ability to stage a world-class event," said Mr. Fleming. "Paralympic athletes will come to Atlanta from more than 100 countries. We can't think of a more appropriate partner than Coca-Cola to help us galvanize recognition around the globe."
 With the agreement, Coca-Cola is now the Official Soft Drink of the Atlanta Paralympics. The Coca-Cola Company also will have rights to the usage of various properties and marks of the IPC and APOC, as well as the mascot and theme, "The Triumph of the Human Spirit," of the Atlanta Paralympic Games.
 The Company is planning an integrated marketing effort to be executed over the next three years in support of the sponsorship.
 The $1 million grant from the Company provides additional support to APOC and IPC in their efforts on behalf of disabled athletes.
 And as a part of the agreement, a Paralympic athlete will travel to Norway in February to participate in the International Olympic Torchbearers Program, sponsored by Coca-Cola. The athlete will help carry the Olympic Torch across that nation prior to the '94 Winter Olympic Games.
 "This support is more than a natural extension of the involvement by Coca-Cola with the Olympic movement worldwide," said Mr. Ivester. "There also is an inspiring added dimension, and it's gratifying to be able to have a role in paying tribute to these athletes from so many different nations."
 The Xth Paralympic Games in 1996 are expected to draw more than 3,500 athletes from 102 nations, who will compete in 17 medal and two demonstration sports. The first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960. The Games have been conducted every Olympic year since then, usually in the city or country hosting the Olympic Games. In 1992, the highly successful Paralympic Games in Barcelona attracted more than 1.5 million spectators.
 Competitors in the Paralympic Games are athletes with physical and visual impairments, representing four international federations associated with the blind; paraplegics and quadriplegics; people with cerebral palsy; and amputees, dwarfs and others. The Paralympics are governed by the International Paralympic Committee and recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
 The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, selling soft drink products in more than 195 countries.
 -0- 11/8/93
 /CONTACT: Rob Baskin of The Coca-Cola Company, 404-676-7732/

CO: The Coca-Cola Company; Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee;
 International Paralympic Committee ST: Georgia IN: SU:

BR-RA -- AT007 -- 1828 11/08/93 13:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 8, 1993

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