London 2017: Andrew Parsons closing speech

The IPC Vice President gives his views on the success of the World Para Athletics Championships 23 Jul 2017
Andrew Parsons, President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee

Andrew Parsons serves as an IPC Vice President and is former President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee


Good evening London,

Over the last 10 days you showed exactly why the Paralympic Movement considers Britain as home.

London 2017 promised the best and by some distance it delivered the best.

The London 2012 legacy which saw Para athletes become box office sporting attractions lives on and leaves us hungry for more.

Through outstanding Para athletics performances, an event preceded with terrible tragedy ends with enormous elation.

We will forever remember our time in this city while the Paralympic Movement will always remember our friend Abduallah Hayayei who sadly lost his life in London. His teammates have shown great strength and spirit competing here and are a credit to the whole Paralympic Movement.

Record breaking vocal crowds, supreme levels of organisation and masses of media; when it comes to staging major international Para sport events no one does it better than Britain.

Athletes your performances surprised, entertained, excited and inspired. You showed immense spirit, deep determination and super human abilities.

You represent the best of sport and showcase best of inclusive society.

London 2017 showed the depth of talent in Para athletics is increasing while there is no question that the margin of victory is dramatically decreasing.

Five years ago this city set the benchmark for all Paralympic Games. Now London’s Summer of Athletics has set the bar high for all Para sport Championships to follow.

Thank you to the London 2017 Organising Committee and all your delivery partners for staging this wonderful event.

Thank you to the World Para Athletics staff, classifiers, technical officials and of course the Runners. You, the pink army of volunteers with purposeful smiles, ensured the smooth running of London 2017 and we will forever be grateful

Thank you to the media and broadcasters for telling the stories of sport, thank you to the spectators for your support and thank you to the schools and teachers for introducing thousands of youngsters to the next generation of sporting heroes.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you London 2017 for staging the best World Para Athletics Championships ever.

Finally the time has come for me to declare the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 closed. I call upon Para athletes all over the world to meet again in 2019, where once again, you will inspire and excite the world with your sporting excellence.