Press Release

Raising the Bar: New Horizons in Disability Sports
By Artemis A. W. Joukowsky III and Larry Rothstein


"The pleasure of sports is to discover at every moment that you have arrived and you have overcome—that you have achieved your goals, which you thought to be possible only in your dreams.” —Beatrice Hess

Power, Speed, Agility: these qualities are necessary to any athlete. Perhaps more than any other public sports events, athletes competing with disabilities challenge us to think about these qualities and about athleticism in new and exhilarating ways. And they remind us that courage and heroism take place in the human heart and the mind—not the body. Disability sports are an expanding frontier for human achievement, showcasing the accomplishments of athletes with physical disabilities—but without limitations.

RAISING THE BAR: NEW HORIZONS IN PARA-ATHLETICS, produced in collaboration with U.S. Paralympics and the International Paralympic Committee, is an intimate, visually rich, elegantly produced portrayal of the international community of disability sports: individuals with disabilities who compete in a wide panoply of events—from fencing to boccie, 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 Paralympics and other non-elite 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, and their words are collected together in this volume for the very first time.

RAISING THE BAR compiles the finest portraits and sports photography on this topic, and goes further, introducing the reader to the diverse, international community of athletes with disabilities via their own words, compiled from a series of interviews conducted exclusively for thie book. The result is an in-depth, first-time portrait of a community of heroes and role models 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 features the words and images of star athletes like Shea Cowart and Marlon Shirley, “the World’s Fastest Amputees”; Jean Driscoll, pioneer of wheelchair participation in the Boston Marathon; and Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to summit Mount Everest; as well as a preface by disabilities activist Christopher Reeve; an essay by writers and advocates Artemis Joukowsky and Larry Rothstein; and extensive resource lists. The book will also examine the new technological advances in adaptive technology that have catapulted competition into new dimensions. RAISING THE BAR aims to educate, to pay homage to, and to further advance the dialogue of what it means to be physically challenged in today’s world. New training strategies, new technology, new awareness to the capabilities of individuals with disabilities, new organized communities focused on these unique challenges: all these and more are celebrated in this ground-breaking publication. RAISING THE BAR, which will be launched as part of US Paralympics hospitality events throughout the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympic Games, is a first—a breathtakingly handsome, emotionally moving, international look at para-athletes making history in sport today.

BIOGRAPHIES

ARTEMIS A. W. JOUKOWSKY III, venture capitalist, executive coach, and para-athlete currently training for the National Championships in table tennis, has been active in the disability community for a number of years. He serves as a board member of the families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and on the board of Partners for Youth with Disabilities and is the Chairman and cofounder of No-Limits Media. His lifelong participation in disabled sports and recreation activities and continuing passion to support other disabled athletes has led directly to him playing the role as Executive Producer of this book and co-writing the essay with Larry Rothstien. Joukowsky lives with his wife Peg and three girls in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

LARRY ROTHSTEIN is a writer and collaborator who has co-authored the national best sellers Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, You Are Not Alone, and You Are What You Say. He has also served as an editor of the Harvard Business Review and the Harvard Educational Review. Before entering writing full time, he worked in government at both the state and federal levels. He holds a doctorate from Harvard in public policy analysis, and maintains an interest in the field of civil rights, particularly as it applies to people with disabilities. He is also cofounder with Artemis Joukowsky and Dan Jones of No-Limits Media.

CHRISTOPHER REEVE was an internationally celebrated actor, director and activist. From his first appearance at the Williamstown Theatre Festival at the age of fifteen, to his studies at Cornell University and Juilliard and subsequent appearances on stage and film, Reeve established a reputation as one of the country’s leading actors. Since being paralyzed in an equestrian competition in 1995, Reeve not only put a human face on spinal cord injury but has motivated neuroscientists around the world to conquer the most complex diseases of the brain and central nervous system. In 1999, Reeve became the Chairman of the Board of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF). CRPF, a national, nonprofit organization, supports research to develop effective treatments and a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and for other central nervous system disorders.

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