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  • Parsons: Rio Paralympics Led to Greater Social Inclusion -- ATRadio


    (ATR) New International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons says the legacy of the Rio 2016 Paralympics can be seen in impairment awareness by local governments.

    IPC president Andrew Parsons (Getty Images)
    “Yes, we have noticed the change,” Parsons tells Around the Rings on the latest edition of ATRadio. “A change in attitude and a change in the people with impairment becoming higher in the social agenda of the country.

    “Brazil is a country facing a lot of challenges these days – economical crisis, political crisis, a lot of problems with corruption in the different level of governments here – so it’s hard to measure the impact here. But you have more discussions about people with impairment in the national congress and in the state level.”

    The Rio 2016 Paralympics concluded one year ago and Parsons says the impact is of hosting is already making a difference.

    “Yes it helped but it was also the beginning of the process where the different levels of government started to use sport as a vehicle to promote and raise awareness about everything that has to do with persons with impairment on the local level.”

    While the Paralympics had a positive impact on social inclusion in Brazil, investigations are underway in the awarding of the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro. Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman is under investigation for his role in an alleged vote-buying scandal but Parsons says this investigation is not hindering the legacy of the Games.

    “Well I don’t think so. He’s under investigation so let’s see if he’s going to be charged with anything or where the investigation will lead us. But the legacy is there when it comes to the Paralympic specific side of the legacy, not only the awareness but the Brazilian Paralympic Committee has five to six more money than income than it did when we started this journey in 2009.”

    One of Parsons first acts as IPC president will be to visit PyeongChang, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan as the hosts of the next two Paralympic Games. He will travel with his predecessor Philip Craven to meet with Organizing Committee leaders.

    “We are coming up with a plan to maximize Paralympic sport in Asia,” he says. “That’s why the first thing I’m doing as IPC president is going to Japan, to Korea in PyeongChang to emphasize to the leadership the importance of Paralympic sport.”

    Parsons also talks about his potential to become an IOC member at the next Session in PyeongChang ahead of the Winter Games and his outlook for the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Summer Paralympics. Listen below for the full conversation with Parsons and ATR reporter Kevin Nutley.

    Written by Kevin Nutley

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