The Paralympic Wintergames in Sochi may more as two months ahead. Nevertheless the massive televisioncoverage is set to break all the records.
‘’Following the success of London 2012, which attracted a cumulative TV audience of 3.8 billion in over 115 countries, the IPC now expects to beat the record viewing figures for a Winter Games which were set in 2010 when Vancouver attracted a cumulative audience of 1.6 billion.
TV contracts to show the Games are already in place with NBC , Channel 4, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), whilst a number of other significant deals will be announced shortly.
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, said: “With 100 days to go, we have more contracts in place with broadcasters than we did as this stage going into Vancouver, so we are fully confident of breaking previous figures.
“The deal we announced this year with NBC in the USA is huge as it opens up the Games to millions of new viewers who will be able to watch the Paralympics for the very first time.
“All the deals we have announced, and are on the verge of announcing, are also for more hours. In 2014 people will have more chance to see the Games around the world and will be able to watch far more too.
“The signs are that more people than ever before will watch the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi next March.”
Around 750 athletes from 45 countries are set to compete in Sochi starting from 7 March 2014 in five sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
Journalisten en topsporters zijn op het eerste gezicht twee totaal verschillende soorten mens.
‘London 2012 was both sporting and organizational a great success. We have welcomed almost 2.8 million spectators and have, thanks to the impressive media attention, succeed in our mission to make the Paralympic Games visible for billions of viewers across the globe.’
The success is not limited to the sporting and organizational success, but reach the British society as a whole. ‘Great Brittan, sportfan or not, felt connected to the Paralympic Games, which left a deep impression and has changed our society in a positive way. People with a disability are welcomed with open arms and are proud to have a disability instead of feeling letdown. It was our goal to give everyone the change to take part of the London 2012 Games. To ensure that we have ask our partners to adjust their services to our people. For example our carsupplier BMW delivered cars everybody could drive in.’
The Organising Committees of the upcoming Games in Sochi (2014), Rio de Janeiro (2016), Pyeongchang (2018) and Tokyo (2020), have, according to Lord Holmes, the unique opportunity to change their society’s forever. ‘The end of London 2012 is just the beginning of the Paralympic Movements growth’, IPC President Sir Phillip Craven marked Lord Holmes’ words.
The organization of Paralympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi Russia runs smoothly, as did the organizing committee of the Games mentioned during the General Assembly of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Athens last month. All venues are in top condition and infrastructure is finished as well. Nevertheless, the organization is struggling with some issues. Biggest issues from now is the disappointing ticket sales. The Winterparalympiad isn’t popular under the Russian population yet.
‘’It is true that the ticket is not running yet as we have in mind. We are working hard to bring the Sochi 2014 Paralympics in attention throughout Russia. We try to accomplish that with special school programs by introducing Paralympic sports to students all over the country. Around five million students already participated in the program. We also organized a large number of cultural festivals in several Russian cities. Hopefully the torch relay throughout forty-seven cities in all nine oblasts of the Russian Federation will make a difference’, Sochi 2014 Paralympic Intergration Director Evgeny Bukharov stated.
The Paralympic Fire will burn in Sochi from March 7th 2014.
Since the fall and death of Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi in 2011 Libya is in a chaotic transition from a long dictatorship in to a country with democratic ambitions. A country in search for a new civil society in the tribal divided country in Northern Africa. So is the Paralympic Movement in Lybia.
‘ We move forward in our development, says Khaled Rgibi, chairman of the Libyan Paralympic Committee. We signed a contract with the British Paralympic Committee recently to be able to use their knowledge and skills to educate coaches and train athletes. Since ousting Kaddafi lots has changed for us. Unlike in the Kaddafi-time, we now have the full support of the new government. For example, the transition-government finances and facilitates the development of Paralympic sports in Libya. Under the regime we had no right to existent: no money, no facilities. Everything changed now fortunately’. Despite the Movement not having the right of existence during Kaddafi’s reign, Libya is not new to the world of Paralympic sports. The country made their Paralympic debut during the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Four years later in Sydney weightlifter Abdelrahim Hamed won Libya’s first ever Games-medal, a bronze one in the top weightclass. Whether the Libyans , who were represented in London by two athletes, can match the weightlifters achievement with the help of Western Paralympic powers like Great Britain will be answered in the future. In any case the first step is taken.