The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday (14 June), outlining the principles for a new long-term agreement between the organisations. Under this new agreement, the IOC and IPC will co-operate with the aim of:
· Increasing the visibility of the Paralympic Games and enhancing the Paralympic brand;
· Deepening existing co-operation, specifically on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap of the future for the Olympic Movement;
· Ensuring the financial stability and long-term viability of the IPC, the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Movement.
The new agreement would run through 2032 and build on the current partnership and co-operation agreements that were signed prior to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This agreement is an important milestone in the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The IOC and IPC share the same goal of making the world a better place through sport and I look forward to our two organisations working closely together to achieve this. The IPC’s focus on sport for all and on high-level performance will enable it to reach more and more people around the world, and to ensure the organisation's long-term success.”
IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: “I am delighted that the IPC and IOC have agreed on the principles and vision behind a new long-term agreement that will further strengthen and support the Paralympic Movement in the years to come. The IOC is the IPC’s number one strategic partner and we are grateful to President Bach and the Olympic Movement for their continued support. We will now work together over the coming weeks and months to finalise the agreement which will take our partnership into a fourth decade and make the Paralympic Movement more self-sustainable.”
The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games was the first time the IOC and IPC outlined the principles to further relationships between the two organisations.
On 19 June 2001, a co-operation agreement was signed to protect the organisation of the Paralympic Games and secure the practice of "one bid, one city". It reaffirmed that the Paralympic Games from 2008 would always take place shortly after the Olympic Games, using the same sports venues and facilities. From the 2012 bid process onwards, the host city chosen to stage the Olympic Games would also be obliged to host the Paralympics.
Since then several agreements were signed to strengthen the relationship between the IOC and the IPC.
As a result of the Co-operation Agreements the IPC is represented on several IOC Commissions and Committees including the IOC Athletes' Commission, the Evaluation and Co-ordination Commissions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Medical and Scientific Commission, the Women in Sport Commission, the Communications Commission and the Olympic Channel Commission. IPC President Sir Philip Craven is chair of the Olympic Education Commission.
The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome, Italy in 1960 featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries and have taken place every four years since, enjoying exponential growth.
Since the Seoul Summer Games (1988) and the Albertville Winter Games (1992), they have also taken place in the same venues as the Olympic Games.
Today, the Paralympic Games are the world’s number one sporting event for driving social inclusion. The London 2012 Paralympics Games attracted 4,237 athletes from 164 countries. A record 2.78 million tickets were sold whilst a cumulative audience of 3.8 billion watched on TV around the world.
According to research, one in three British adults changed their attitudes towards people with an impairment as a result of the Games.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games brought together 547 athletes from 45 countries for an event that was watched by a record cumulative TV audience of 2.1 billion.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will take place between 7-18 September with 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries competing in 22 sports.