“The performances at London 2012 were certainly the peak of the year and showcased how far the Paralympic Movement has truly come in terms of athlete performance, spectator and viewing numbers and awareness of Paralympic sport."
This year was a significant one for the whole Paralympic Movement, and in honour of that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will count down the Top 50 Paralympic Moments of 2012 on www.Paralympic.org starting on Monday (12 November).
For the final 50 days of the 2012, the IPC will feature one moment each day via articles, photos, video and social media, culminating with the year’s best moment on 31 December.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the year was the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which IPC President Sir Philip Craven deemed the best Games ever.
Sir Philip said: “The performances at London 2012 were certainly the peak of the year and showcased how far the Paralympic Movement has truly come in terms of athlete performance, spectator and viewing numbers and awareness of Paralympic sport.
“For me, the Games were truly amazing.”
The event, opened by the Queen and closed by Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z, featured 4,237 athletes across 20 sports, with 75 of the 164 countries competing taking home medals. A record 2.7 million tickets were sold for the Games, which were broadcast to more than 100 countries and territories, with the UK’s Channel 4 screening over 500 hours of live coverage that achieved record audiences.
Research proved that the Games had a significant impact on British society, revealing that one in three adults in the UK changed their attitude towards people with an impairment and 81 per cent of British adults thought the Paralympics had a positive impact on the way people with an impairment are viewed by the public.
The winter sports scene this year was highlighted by the Wheelchair Curling and Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, as well as the Nordic Skiing World Cup and the addition of snowboarding to the Paralympic Games programme.
The growth of the Paralympic Games was also secured with the renewal of the IPC-IOC Co-operation Agreement, meaning the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in the same city through 2020.
Sir Philip commented: “The agreements secure the continued growth of the Movement and our members. Since 1988 we have benefited from using the same venues, infrastructure and levels of detailed planning as the Olympic Games and through this agreement it will continue through to at least 2020.”
The 50 moments that will be revealed during the next month and a half were selected by nominations from National Paralympic Committees and International Federations and are based on sport performance, emotional moments, media attraction and athletes’ personal stories.
The IPC would also like to call on the public to submit their own nominations for what they believe was the top Paralympic moment of 2012. They can do so by emailing [email protected], or by leaving a comment on www.Facebook.com/ParalympicGames or sending a tweet to @Paralympic.