At last Saturday’s General Meeting for the Olympisk Klub Danmark, the decision was made to open up the organization to Denmark’s Paralympians. This includes all Paralympic competitors, and their team leaders, coaches, physiotherapists and assistants who have been accredited members of the Danish delegation at a Paralympic Games. At the same meeting, 2000 and 2004 track and field Paralympian René Nielsen was elected the organization’s new Vice Chairperson, the first Paralympian to hold a position in Olympisk Klub Danmark.
The organization’s president, Keld Nielsen, was quoted as saying of the decision, “It is a great pleasure and honor that we can now offer Paralympic athletes welcome the Olympisk Klub Danmark. […] The Board has initiated a vision work to steer the Olympisk Klub Danmark’s future and is already starting to incorporate activities for all members. As part of the future strategy will Dansk Handicap Idræts-Forbund be a close partner, and there are already discussions about how Olympisk Klub Danmark can help to raise the profile of the union’s biggest event in 2015; EM in para table tennis, 12-17th October in Vejle.”
Karl Vilhelm Nielsen, three time Danish Paralympian and current president of Dansk Handicap Idræts-Forbund was quoted as saying, “I see it as an outstretched hand from the Olympic Movement in Denmark to participants in the Paralympic Games for many years – an outstretched hand, which is a continuation of the trends and opinions that have come in recent years from the top of the IOC, where several rounds have marked that when host cities featuring the Olympics, then the Paralympic Games are also part of the package. Now it strikes also through the Olympisk Klub Danmark – we are happy. […] We are prepared to contribute to the activities ofOlympisk Klub Danmark and such. invite members to the European Championships in para table tennis in the fall.”
Olympisk Klub Danmark was created in 1989 to support the Olympic Movement in Denmark. Originally open only to Olympic medalists, this changed in 1991 to include anyone who was an accredited part of the Danish Olympic team. Activities for the organization include efforts to preserve the history of Danish involvement in the Olympics. Many times, this involves donating scrapbooks, photos, videos, equipment used during the Games, and medals to the Danish Olympic Academy. They also organize sporting activities in a number of sports including fencing, rowing, archery and boccia.
Olympisk Klub Danmark is a member of the World Olympians Association, and are supported by Danmarks Idræts Forbund and Team Danmark.