Nine out of 10 people (91 per cent) consider para-athletes as high performance sport stars
A survey conducted at Wednesday’s (4 June) international para-athletics meeting at Paris’s Charlety Stadium has found that 83 per cent of the French public believe para-sports are not sufficiently represented in the media.
Following the success of the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, the survey, conducted by the French Paralympic Committee/Havas Sport & Entertainment, found that almost half of French people can name at least one Paralympic athlete.
Unsurprisingly after winning four gold medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, alpine skier Marie Bochet is the best known athlete, followed by track star Marie Amelie le Fur, alpine skier Vincent Gauthier Manuel and long jumper Arnaud Assoumani.
Nine out of 10 people (91 per cent) consider para-athletes as high performance sport stars and a similar number (90 per cent) said they are inspirational.
Three out of four (75 per cent) respondents associated athletes with the value of respect, whilst two out of three (67 per cent) said they had huge admiration for their achievements. Just four per cent said they felt discomfort towards a para-athlete.
In recent years the popularity of the Paralympic Movement has grown dramatically in France. More than 13 million people watch London 2012 and the number of Facebook fans following the French Paralympic team grew seven times over during Sochi 2014, a Games where the French team finished fifth on the medals table.
The future for Paralympic sport in France is bright with two out of three people surveyed saying the Paralympics are as good as the Olympics.