(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Mayor of Sollefteå,
Members of the organising Committee,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here in Sollefteå today at the opening of the 2011 Paralympic Winter World Cup.
I would like to congratulate the Swedish Paralympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee for organizing these extraordinary games. It is one of several successful events I have had the privilege to visit.
This includes the Paralympic Games, and here in Sweden for example the Paralympic School Day. Being the patron of the Swedish Development Centre for Disability Sport, I also feel strongly for their important work.
The host municipality of Sollefteå has since 1995 organised the Sollefteå Winter Games, which in 2009 became the Paralympic Winter World Cup. I would like to express my gratitude for Sollefteå's professional organising and welcoming reception to all involved in these games.
The Paralympic Winter World Cup is ranked as the world's largest sports competition for winter athletes with disabilities - next after the Paralympics. This year as many as 19 nations are represented, competing in four disciplines:
Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing and ice sledge hockey. The latter tournament will also be the European Championships.
Many are the fantastic sports performances that I have experienced during my visits to Paralympic events. The skills, focus and conviction that you, the competing athletes, display are extraordinary. The competitions I already have seen earlier today are no exception.
I would finally like to wish all the athletes good luck!
I hereby declare the 2011 Paralympic Winter World Cup officially opened!