“The huge appetite for tickets to the 2012 Games this summer shows the level of excitement Paralympic sport can generate, and forever changed the way we think about disabled sport."
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today (14 November) submitted a formal bid to bring the 2017 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships to London, which would see the world’s greatest track and field stars return to the Olympic Stadium and provide a major economic boost for the capital.
Following the huge success of the 2012 Paralympic Games, the Mayor opened discussions with the International Paralympic Committee, UK Athletics and UK Sport about a bid for London to host the Championships in the Olympic Stadium in July 2017, just a month before it is due to stage the IAAF World Athletics Championships. If successful, London would become the first city to host the two Championships side by side, recreating the summer of sport which transformed the capital this year.
The formal bid, submitted to the IPC today, aims to help build on the enthusiasm generated by the 2012 Paralympic Games to create a lasting sporting legacy, drive participation in disability sport, and secure the iconic Olympic Stadium’s position as one of the world’s leading venues for major competitions.
The bid submitted by the Mayor includes a commitment to deploy Team London Ambassador Volunteers at the Championships, following their overwhelming popularity and success in welcoming the world to the capital this summer.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The huge appetite for tickets to the 2012 Games this summer shows the level of excitement Paralympic sport can generate, and forever changed the way we think about disabled sport.
“The 2017 IPC World Championships present a fantastic opportunity for us to build on that phenomenal surge of enthusiasm, and welcome back some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women to the Olympic Stadium.
“Securing the Championships would not only reinforce London’s reputation as the world’s leading sporting city, it would bring a vital multi-million pound boost to the capital’s economy, creating jobs and driving growth in east London.”
Ed Warner, Chairman of UK Athletics and also of the IPC's Athletics Sports Technical Committee said: "This summer's Paralympic Games demonstrated the huge appeal of elite disability athletics for the British public as well as London's ability to host the world's biggest sporting events to the most exacting standards.
"I'm delighted that the city has decided to build on the success of the Paralympics by bidding to host the IPC's flagship athletics event in the Olympic Stadium in 2017 and believe that, if successful, London would establish a new standard for the IPC World Athletics Championships against which all future editions would be measured."
The IPC Athletics World Championships are the largest single-sport competition for athletes with a disability in the world and take place on a bi-annual basis. The 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships were held in Christchurch, New Zealand and hosted 1,151 athletes from more than 70 countries, generating a national economic impact of approximately $19.6m including spending outside Christchurch.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is already at the heart of a busy sporting schedule for London, which will see several international competitions come to the capital in coming years. Just a year after the Games the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome the Mayor’s world class two-day festival of cycling, Ride London. Two years later, Twickenham will be one of the key stadiums for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and then the Olympic Stadium is set to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships when the world’s finest track and field athletes return to the capital.