Today, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was informed by the Beijing 2008 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (BOCOG) of planned modifications to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay.
Statement Regarding Beijing 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay Modifications
25 Jun 2008
“The Paralympic Torch Relay is a tradition dating back to 1988 that hails the coming of the Games and celebrates the values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality to which the Paralympic Movement aspires."
Due to the devastating earthquake that struck China in May this year, BOCOG has decided to modify arrangements for the Paralympic Torch Relay as it did for the Olympic Torch Relay. According to BOCOG, those changes have been made to afford the Chinese government to focus on the rescue and relief work and show support for the people affected by the earthquake, especially persons with a disability.
The necessary changes to the Paralympic Torch Relay include shortened national routes, simplified procedures and the cancellation of the international route of the relay which was due to pass through Vancouver/Whistler (Canada), London (Great Britain) and Sochi (Russia) later this year.
The IPC recognizes the circumstances and rationale that have led to the decisions to make these modifications. The IPC was looking forward to the staging of the international route of the Paralympic Torch Relay for the first time, as it would have offered unique opportunities to raise further awareness for the Paralympic Games and acceptance of people with a disability around the world.
Said IPC President Sir Philip Craven: “The Paralympic Torch Relay is a tradition dating back to 1988 that hails the coming of the Games and celebrates the values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality to which the Paralympic Movement aspires. The IPC wants to thank the cities of the international route for their great enthusiasm and support during the preparations for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Torch Relay.”