London 2017: Opening speech by Sir Philip Craven

IPC President highlights how London 2017 is a direct legacy of London 2012 Paralympic Games. 14 Jul 2017
IPC President Sir Philip Craven

Sir Philip Craven is the former President of the International Paralympic Committee

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Good evening London,

Welcome to the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 and welcome back to the iconic London stadium.

This venue holds so many special memories for all of us and we are all very excited to be back five years on since the best Paralympic Games ever.

During that special summer of 2012 this stunning park turned itself into a Para sport Mecca. It felt great to be British, even greater to be in Great Britain and extra special to be part of an event that changed the sporting landscape forever.

Every generation gets a chance to change the world and over the next 10 days we have the opportunity to relive that magic, that national pride and spirit that united us all.

I am confident that at London 2017 the performances of Para athletes will be a celebration of positivity and everything that is good about the human spirit.

Even before the first medal event takes place, London 2017 has set multiple records.

Record crowds and commercial support will be complemented by record TV and online audiences. Millions around the world are ready to be inspired and excited by what they see.

Athletes - many of whom were inspired by London 2012 - arrive here in record breaking form. They are ready to make history, ready to excel and ready to show what is possible in life.

Welcome and thank you to the technical officials, classifiers and of course the Runners, the people in pink, who brighten all your days with smiles that can lighten up any grey day.

Finally, I would like to thank the London 2017 Organising Committee and all delivery partners for providing a perfect platform for Para athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. You have raised the bar in terms of organisation, and the athletes will repay you and the records crowds with performances that will raise the roof.

It now gives me great pleasure to introduce London Mayor Sadiq Khan to open the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017.