By Robert Fawdon, Paris, France: 19 July 2016: The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid Committee has today outlined its commitment to Paralympic sport during the Team France launch event held in the city to mark 50 days to go to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will receive the most extensive TV coverage in history in France with 100 hours of live broadcast footage on France Télévision – signaling the strong appetite amongst the French population for Paralympic sport and the continuing growth of the Paralympic Movement across the country.
For Paris 2024, the Paralympic Games are a critical part of the bid’s plan to increase access to parasport, improve facilities, enhance further public perceptions and attitudes towards disability and provide the optimal environment for Paralympians to inspire and excite young and old spectators against iconic backdrops such the Eiffel Tower, the Champs de Mars and the Esplanade des Invalides.
Since the very beginning of the bid process, under the leadership of its Head of Paralympic Integration, Paris 2024 has been planning for an outstanding Paralympic Games in close collaboration with the International Paralympic Committee [IPC]. The bid team has already visited the IPC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, to present the Games concept and gain valuable feedback. A bid delegation will also take part in the observer programme on site in Rio in September to experience the unique atmosphere and legacies the Paralympic Games can bring to the host city.
The Team France launch celebration was held at La Villette Great Hall – a heritage building that will host Powerlifting at the 2024 Paralympic Games. In close proximity to Zenith Paris – the proposed venue for Paralympic Judo and Taekwondo in 2024 – the planned Live Site and the nearby world-class cultural facilities such as the Philarmonie and Cité des Sciences, the Parc de La Villette will become a vibrant Paralympic hub in 2024.
30 athletes who will compete in Rio attended the 50 days to go celebration including Flag Bearer Michael Jeremiasz (Wheel chair Tennis), Arnaud Assoumani (Long Jump) and Ryhad Sallem (Wheel chair Rugby).
President of CPSF [French Paralympic Committee], Emmanuelle Assmann, said:
“We are delighted to be here at Parc de La Villette for the Team France launch marking 50 days to go the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games – the athletes are ready to go and we are very excited to get the Games underway. The appetite for Paralympic sport in France has grown exponentially in recent years and it is fantastic that 100 hours of live action from the Games – a national record – will be broadcast to homes across the country.
“Bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Paris would have a huge positive impact on the lives of people with an impairment in the city and across France. The Games would open up so many more opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in parasport and we are committed to using the Games as a catalyst to improve facilities and enhance further the positive public perceptions and attitudes towards disability.”
Paris 2024 Co-Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said:
“Since the very beginning of our bid we have made clear our commitment to deliver a Paris 2024 Paralympic Games that will be a fantastic celebration of world class sport in an amazing setting. Our aim is to make use of the unique opportunity to create a true legacy for people with an impairment by increasing accessibility, improving facilities and growing further the Paralympic Movement, not just here in France, but across the world.”
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