Istanbul 2020 changeover to be shorter for Paralympics
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
March 28 – During the final day of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission’s visit to Istanbul, Istanbul 2020 revealed it would not need the traditional seven to 10 days after the Olympic Games to prepare the city’s Olympic venues for the Paralympic Games. After only five days, the bid committee said, Istanbul would be prepared to host the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.
No extra locations would be needed for Paralympic events, meaning all venues used in the Olympic Games would be suitable for Paralympic athletes. The Games would share venues and only minimal refitting would be needed in stadia and the Olympic Village. Paralympic archer Gizem Girismen and London 2012 Director of Paralympic Integration Chris Holmes were two of the members of the Istanbul 2020 panel who made the announcement.
“Turkey is at the crossroads of Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East,” Girismen, who also won a gold medal in the women’s individual recurve W1/W2 at Beijing 2008, said. “In Istanbul hosting the Games, Turkey has a great opportunity to influence and inspire a vast region. Istanbul 2020 is focusing on every element of the athlete experience. This will allow the Paralympians of the world to focus one hundred percent on having the performances of their lives.
“As one of the IPC Athlete Council members, I believe that the Istanbul 2020 Games are an opportunity for raising awareness, changing attitudes, and enhancing the shared Olympic and Paralympic values.”
An inclusive Games for all is Istanbul 2020’s plan, with 8.5 million Turkish people living with a disability. Istanbul 2020 is basing its Paralympic integration model on London 2012.
“I believe this bid offers such incredible potential to transform a nation and a region,” Holmes said. “We will bridge together the world’s Paralympians in twelve days of sensational sport. Sport that is superbly and innovatively presented in iconic venues and spectacular backdrops.
“The Istanbul 2020 Paralympic Games will be where diversity meets inclusion, where potential meets the possible, and where Paralympians stand tall across two continents and inspire the world.”
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