September 27, 2022


Scottish duo Neil Fudge and Lewis Stewart face Wales' James Ball and Matt Rotherham
Commonwealth men’s tandem match sees tight end to Scotland’s Neil Fudge and Wales’ James Ball
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The International Paralympic Committee said the development of the Paralympic Games could be “jeopardized” if it merged with the Olympics.

Parasports at the 2022 Commonwealth Games have been a huge success and have sparked calls for more integration.

But while sports and athletes involved in Birmingham benefit from the increased visibility, IPC spokesman Craig Spencer told BBC Access All Podcasts The current agreement to separate the Olympic and Paralympic Games is “good for us”.

The current agreement to host two Games in the same city was signed in 2018 and will continue until the Games in Brisbane in 2032.

“Since 1988, we’ve seen the Paralympic movement grow exponentially,” said Spence, IPC Chief Brand and Communications Officer.

“We’re in a strong position and developing the Olympics, so combining the two events could hinder and jeopardize that growth and we could be going backwards.

“It’s a constant conversation, but you have to see if it makes sense to put the two games together and at the moment we don’t think it makes sense.

“The current agreement is currently working for us. It has served us well, we love it and are eager to keep it.”

Birmingham hosted a record 42 disabled sporting events across eight sports, with over 350 athletes participating in a fully integrated programme.

Huge crowds cheered swimmers Maisie Summers-Newton and Bethany Firth, athletes Hannah Cockroft and Olivia Breen, and cyclists Neil Fachie and James Ball, among others, who represented their home countries in gold.

However, the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will feature 549 medal events involving some 4,400 athletes and support staff.

Although Paralympic legend Baroness Tenney Gray-Thompson supports greater integration at the Commonwealth and European and world levels, she told the podcast that the logistics of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are challenging

“On a practical level, I don’t think there is a single city in the world that can host a joint Olympics,” she said.

“There are 10,000 athletes in the Olympics, about 4,500 in the Paralympics, and with the added cost, it will end up being an event of about a month.

“So in reality, you’re going to have to cut events, what are you going to cut?

“It has to be a smaller Olympics and spectators won’t be able to watch a game with a lot of disabled people.

“People in Birmingham love to watch disabled games [at the Commonwealth Games], so we have to continue to build the image of the Paralympic Games and get people to watch the Paralympic Games. “

Spencer is also concerned that any merger would weaken the Paralympic Games.

“The UK leads the pack when it comes to Paralympic sport and coverage, but it’s not the same around the world,” he said.

“Maybe the equality we want is for broadcasters around the world to have the same level of coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics – not just in the UK.

“Our concern is that if you put both events together, you’re hearing a lot less about Paralympic performances and you’re jeopardizing the Olympics as the most transformative sporting event on the planet. Impact.

“Our goal is to continue to develop the Paralympic Games, where there is more potential to make the Games even better.”

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