Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gotosy

Paralympics and Olympics merger

Recommended Posts

Paralympics and Olympics merger 'possible after 2020'

The Paralympics and Olympic Games could merge, says the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Sir Philip Craven said things are developing all the time and nothing is "set in stone".

It would be a controversial move with some Paralympic athletes fearful that disability sporting events would be overshadowed.

But a joint Games has some popular appeal, a BBC survey has suggested.

Speaking on the BBC's Ouch! disability podcast to be broadcast next week, Sir Philip said: "Whatever's right for athletes within the Paralympic movement then let's look to do it.

"I hope no one thinks that we're fine where we are and things can't change. Of course they can change”

"It's really a logistical problem at the moment but I'm not dead against the idea, in principle, of them coming together at some time."

With nine years in preparation, he said: "It could not be before, I don't know, 2024, something like that, for the summer Games."

Should it go ahead, Sir Philip said he would not want to shrink the Paralympic element of a combined Games - a worry for many of the athletes.

He said: "Within the IPC we're very keen that if there was some form of merger we would maintain the number of athletes in the Olympic/Paralympic Games."

Fears over merger

In December former Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said the Paralympic Games would "disappear off the face of the earth" if a merger took place.

She feared only a few of the events would be put in the Olympics.

Baroness Grey-Thompson said: "I'd rather invest time and effort in making sure that the Paralympics can be as parallel to the Olympics as possible."

In March this year, the BBC World Service published the results of a survey of just over 10,000 people taken in 19 nations.

Some 47% of those questioned favoured merging the Games, while 43% said the Paralympics should stay separate.

In the UK, 50% of those surveyed were in favour, and 43% against.

However, many of the countries with the most impressive medal hauls to date wanted to keep the Games split; they included China (67% separate, 27% integrated), the US (64%, 29%), and Australia (54%, 42%).

Now in his third term as IPC president, Sir Philip - a former Paralympic wheelchair basketball player - also wants to see the word disability banished from the dictionary.

He said a combined Games would probably need to be extended, speculating it might be around three to three and a half weeks.

Under a "partnership agreement" signed by the IPC and the International Olympic Committee the Paralympics will follow on from the Olympics as a separate event until 2020.

But Sir Philip said a merger could be looked at after that time.

"I hope no one thinks that we're fine where we are and things can't change. Of course they can change."

BBC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be a controversial move with some Paralympic athletes fearful that disability sporting events would be overshadowed.

Simple. Merge them. But hold the Paralympic events first. Turn them into a month long event, with a big party for the closing ceremony.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the Olympics and Paralympics are inspiring in their own way, but I think the Paralympic events would get lost if they were merged into the Olympic Games, so they deserve a showcase all their own. Besides the total number of Olympians and Paralympians in 2008 totaled over 15,000 not including coaches, officials, and team staff, toss in all the logistical issues and this would be a massive organizational headache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would help, but it would be a logistical nightmare and probably reduces the ability of cities to host and almost eliminates small winter towns from bidding. TBH who would care about the paralympics when the Olympics are going on at the same time?

Keep them separate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus, the Paralympics, happening after the Olympic Games, have this great advantage of being staged in 'experienced' venues and logistics. And being smaller than their counterpart they tend to be run more smoothly than the crowded party before.

The growth of paralympic sport as inclusive policy and social rehabilitation all over the world is another reason to keep their games apart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if this were a good idea, the IOC wouldn't do it. Philosophically, it doesn't fit with the OG.

Not a good idea because would take too long (now 3 weekends & 2 weeks in between), would be almost impossible to get volunteers to run them, high cost (now, they have 2 budgets for the OG and the Paralympics), not enough support for ParaLympics in the IOC member nations (athletes with disabilities are not given opportunities to train and/or compete in many countries)....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple. Merge them. But hold the Paralympic events first. Turn them into a month long event, with a big party for the closing ceremony.

Holding the Paralympics first, is not what I call "merge the 2 events!

So I don't see how to organize both events alltogether... simply impossible in keeping the actual size or both events.

Also impossible from my pov to get them the one after the other without break.

But what could be done to give more exposure to the Paralympics, is to get them first with only 5 days break between both events

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why are disabled and handicapped people running in the Torch relay when they are going to have their own Paralympic relay?

This will happen eventually. It's really kinda stupid now to have the separate Para's afterwards. There is a lot of duplication in 2 separate events when they can be easily merged together. I mean 4 ceremonies, 2 casts, 2 sets of volunteers,etc.; and the Paras are always just an after-thought. To achieve greater respect & participation for the physically-challenged, they should be included in the regular Os even if they have their won separate events. Or at least in the 10 days before the regular O's begin. That's how I would do it if I were King!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They could be merged into a three-week or so single games but only if some 5.000 people were kicked out of the Olympic Village earlier to make room for the incoming athletes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The IOC will NEVER agree to have them run at the same time as the OG. NEVER.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The IOC will NEVER agree to have them run at the same time as the OG. NEVER.

Uhmmm, three wheelchair races were conducted in LA 1984 on the same sked and ticket brochure as the regular Games; similarly, 3 handicapped downhill races were ALSO conducted in Sarajevo on the regular sked. If they put their minds together and the will is there; it can be done. Maybe not necessarily concurrent, but they should compete BEFORE the regular O's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind the Olympics, it would be the worst thing to ever happen to the Paralympics if they were ever merged and talk of merger at a time when they're really beginning to grow as their own event is pretty stupid.

Indeed I think a complete separation is probably more likely than a merger, with the Paralympics being switched to non-Olympic years and possibly having it's own bidding process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daughter of founder of Paralympics against merger with the Olympics

Eva Loeffler, daughter of the man who began the Paralympic Movement, Dr. Ludwig Guttman, has revealed that she is against the Paralympics merging with the Olympics for fear that the event will lose its unique identity.

...

Loeffler, who was the Mayor of the Paralympic Village during London 2012, admitted that although there were benefits to amputee athletes like South African Oscar Pistorius taking part in the Olympics, that there was a danger of it going too far.

...

"That Oscar did not win [an Olympic medal] was fine in a way because had he won I think then there would have been discussions 'did he have an advantage'.

"Just like shooting and archery, people may think they have an advantage because they are sitting.

"I think it is a very good thing but it has its limitations.

"It raises the profile which is fine but to think of having wheelchair sport in the Olympics – like basketball or rugby is nonsensical.

"The Olympics should be competitions between Olympians and Paralympians, not to have separate games in the Olympics for wheelchair users."

Loeffler added that the complications of handling the increased number of athletes would present a logistical obstacle to such a merger.

"If you imagine having Olympic and Paralympic Games together, there are far too many people and the people who will be left out are certain to be Paralympians," she said.

"It is not at all possible."

...

full article

http://www.insidethe...th-the-olympics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind the Olympics, it would be the worst thing to ever happen to the Paralympics if they were ever merged and talk of merger at a time when they're really beginning to grow as their own event is pretty stupid.

Indeed I think a complete separation is probably more likely than a merger, with the Paralympics being switched to non-Olympic years and possibly having it's own bidding process.

Neither is likely. The Paralympics and Olympics won't merge and nor should they after the success of London 2012.

But like it or not, the Paralympics is completely dependent on the Olympics now for its planning, infrastructure, venues, village etc. And I think it'd be unlikely many cities would bid for a Paralympics on their own and build the billions of pounds worth of infrastructure and venues needed.

If the Paralympics seperated hosts wouldn't go in for building 80,000 stadiums just for those Games. Venue capacities would be much reduced, I suspect compromises would crop up in terms of accommodation and transport. In short, they'd become more like a regional or national Games in terms of scale.

The Paralympics are the success they are because they come off the back of the Olympics, have full use of the Olympic standard venues, and they buy into the Olympic excitement. The Paralympic Games could not sustain their current size if they went their own way.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So there are two avenues the Paralympics can take beyond 2020, aside from the status quo...

-moving to a non-Olympic year as a separate event (as someone suggested), with its own bidding process and own host cities

-or complete merger with the Olympics.

Either option would certainly have critics, but you can't deny that they both (if done properly) could be tremendously successful options.

If the first option was taken, I think it could be successful. It could be that event with huge soul that the Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Pan-Ams lack --- a genuinely amazing, purposeful multisport event that is a great alternative to the Olympic Games. I think that post-London and Beijing the Paralympics are growing - the world has just woken up to the potential of the event. As RobH mentioned, I'm doubtful we would see Olympic scale stadia built specifically for the Paralympics - but they don't really need to be. When you look at the investment some countries put into events like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, surely there'd be a market for an independent Paralympics. It could be argued that part of the Paralympics issue is that it still feels like an afterthought, the way it follows the Olympics. It is the Olympic AND Paralympic Games, not the other way around. I'd like to see that change in the 2020's, be it a complete separation or the alternative of a complete merger (look at EAD events at the Commonwealth Games it CAN be done), and put the para events under the Olympic banner, extent the Olympics to a 28 day event. I don't think the Para events would get lost amongst it all if it was timetabled properly. I'd like to see it mixed, to the point where the Mens 400m relay is followed by Mens 400m T54 relay, for instance.

In saying all that, I think the current set up is still fantastic, and the event has come a long way even since Sydney 2000, but I honestly feel like something will give in the next decade or so.

Edited by greenandblue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anything has to give. Paralympians don't want a merger (see what Tanni Grey-Thompson has to say on the matter), and the Games would lose a lot if they went their own way as I've outlined above.

The ONLY thing the Paralympics needs to fix, and the reason why they seem like an afterthought to many, is the broadcasting rights in certain territories.

I can tell you, and so can Mercator who's been the most gushing about these Paralympics on this forum, that London's Paralympics felt in every way equal to the Olympics when you were in the venues. Why would the Paralympics want to change a winning formula when all they really need to do is make sure the World is seeing what is happening? That's the biggest challenge for the Paralympics now and it's one they need to sit down with the rights holders and thrash out. Doing anything more drastic than that (like a seperation or a merger) would be using a hammer to crack a nut.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed I think a complete separation is probably more likely than a merger, with the Paralympics being switched to non-Olympic years and possibly having it's own bidding process.

They will disappear if separated. They will never get the funding they are getting today. They only survive because they piggyback on the largesse and guilty conscience of the IOC. Take them away, and they will vanish. Riding piggyback is their best chance of survival.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think the current setup works the best-just mandate a certain amount of coverage for those networks carrying the Olympics. Lengthening the Olympics just invites the possibility of more preliminaries in sports like basketball, boxing, soccer, etc.-those will always overshadow the Paralympic events in the eyes of TV executives, and just add to the logistical crunch and post-Games burden caused by having to house all the extra athletes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was listening to a radio interview while the Paras were in progress, and this guy who runs logistics for USA T&F Para operations said it just wasn't logistically possible to merge the Paras into the regular O's because, like, for just the regular sprint races...there were already like 5 sub-divisions: so categories like one-legged, double amputees, those running with prosthesis, the partially-blind, the fully-blind, etc.,etc., x several heats X all the sports X 2 genders. So even running one-heat for the prelims for just say the 400m takes a good 45 mins 2 set up; then clear the field; bring in the next set x 2 genders.

There is no way to integrate what takes 10 days of the Para's into the 15 competition days of the regular Os, without drastically cutting down the no. of athletes and events of either. I believe the 2 committees (the IOC and the IPC) have reached the point when they know they've almost maxxed out their limits, size-wise, and there is no sensible way to combine them within the regular 15/16 competition days of the reg Os.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cant see any changes happening nor do I think changes are needed. The only change that I would recommend is sorting out broadcast rights for the Paralympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The IPC are bundling the 2014/16 rights together and in the UK at least have said they're only interested in free to air coverage in order to ensure the momentum from London continues. C4 are bidding again, while the BBC want them back too - though I hope C4 keeps them as I just think they'll get lost in the schedules again if they return to the BBC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No merger needed...the IPC just needs to market the Paralympic Games better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

 

IOC and IPC to partner until 2032

 

 

Thomas Bach and Andrew Parsons, the respective Presidents of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), today signed a historic long-term agreement establishing a partnership between the two organisations until at least 2032.

The new agreement builds on the current partnership and cooperation agreements that were signed prior to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As a result of the new partnership:

  • The IOC will continue to make it obligatory for any host of the Olympic Games also to organise the Paralympic Games.

  • The IOC and IPC will work together to increase the visibility of the Paralympic Games and enhance the Paralympic brand.

  • The two organisations will deepen existing cooperation, specifically on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

  • The agreement will give financial stability to the IPC for at least the next 14 years, from which in turn the whole Paralympic Movement will benefit.

Thomas Bach, IOC President, said: "Enhancing the cooperation between the Olympic and Paralympic Movement was one of the key recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020. Therefore, the IOC is pleased to strengthen its substantial support to the IPC and the entire Paralympic Movement because we share so many of the same values and objectives," he added.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: "Strengthening the relationship with the IOC and securing the future of the IPC and the Paralympic Movement was my number-one priority when I was elected as IPC President last September.  Therefore, I am delighted that we have signed a historic long-term new partnership agreement and can now look forward to an exciting future working together.

"There can be no doubt that the IPC and the Paralympic Movement would not be where it is today without the support and cooperation of the IOC.  Since our first formal agreement signed in 2000, the Paralympic Games and the Movement as a whole have grown beyond all recognition.

"Both organisations share a passion that sport can change lives and that sport can change the world.  Working together and even closer into a fourth decade will further the impact both of our work has on society.

"It is fitting that this agreement is signed here in South Korea, as it was in this country that the Olympic and Paralympic Games came together as one sports event in Seoul in 1988.  Thirty years on, we are here in PyeongChang for the biggest Paralympic Winter Games to date featuring a record number of athletes, countries, broadcasters and media."

 

https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-ipc-to-partner-until-2032


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×