An historic agreement was reached this year when Paris, France; and Los Angeles, USA were awarded the 2024 and 2028 Paralympic Games respectively. Not only was it the first time that two host cities were announced at the same time, but it also marks the first time both cities will host a Paralympic Summer Games
The milestone moment for the Paralympics makes it to No. 3 on the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Top 50 Moments of 2017.
Paris hosted the Olympic Games in 1924 and 1900, and Los Angeles in 1984 and 1932. Now the Paralympic Movement has an opportunity to develop on untouched grounds.
What stood out about the two cities when they were bidding for the Games was their vision for the Paralympics.
“From the outset, the IPC has been greatly impressed by the desire and hunger of both Los Angeles and Paris to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the then-IPC President Sir Philip Craven said. “Both cities have been in close liaison with the IPC throughout the last 18 months in order to develop and improve the Paralympic aspects of their respective bids.”
Emmanuelle Assmann, President of NPC France and a former wheelchair fencer, said she was very emotional when she learned that her country would host the Paralympics.
“We have committed to providing fully accessible Games in 2024, both at the competition venues and the live sites,” she said. “This is particularly important for our existing venues which will be upgraded to accommodate all spectators. Furthermore, all new metro lines [already under construction] will be accessible too. In terms of infrastructure, the Games can help us gain 20 years and make accessibility the new normal’ for public spaces!”
For Rick Adams, the USOC’s Chief of Paralympic Sport and National Governing Body Organisational Development, LA is a “perfect match” for the Paralympics and he can see how the city can benefit the Movement’s reach in the USA.
“LA is the best city in the world for hosting a truly modern and technically advanced Games, and it will be the first time we’ve hosted the Games since we entered this digital era,” Adams said. “When people in the US are able to witness the speed, skill and tenacity of the Paralympic athletes first-hand, it is going to transform this Movement for our country.”
The full rundown of the Top 50 Moments will continue until 31 December.