Paralympic Dreams Threatened as Major Budget Cuts are Announced - Total Women's Cycling

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Paralympic Dreams Threatened as Major Budget Cuts are Announced

International Olympic Committee should support Paralympics, says British Olympic Association representative

The Paralympic Games will spring in to action on September 7 but budget cuts mean that travel grants have been delayed and some venues will be moved to allow for Deodoro Park to be dismantled.

Just 12 percent of Paralympic tickets have been sold, a disappointing figure after the success of the 2012 London Paraympics; the low ticket sales coupled with Brazil’s struggling economy have been blamed for the cuts.

As well as moving venues, the workforce will also be downsized, but it’s been promised that security resources will remain equal.

The Rio Games organisers worked with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to deliver the Olympic Games. They work with the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) to deliver the Paralympics.

However, vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association, Sir Hugh Robertson has pointed out that the IOC has “very full coffers after London 2012” and says they should support the IPC and Paraympics.

The IPC say that it’s the Rio organising committee who have failed to raise enough money to fund the games.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Robertson, who worked on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, said: “The sponsors have the capacity to help. The Brazilian government have a moral obligation to do everything possible. My guess is that if this goes wrong they will be in breach of the host nation contract so they are morally and legally obliged to do things.”

Following reports around struggles to fund athletes travel, the British Paralympic Association released a statement which announced that though the news was “worrying” they would be sending a full team, and would “mitigate as much as possible any factors which could impact on their [athletes] performance”. 

They stated: “London 2012 proudly showed the world what was possible and we want Rio to be the next stage of that positive journey. The IPC’s announcement makes clear that there is major risk to that.  However, our ParalympicsGB athletes have been training hard for at least four years for this moment to compete and deliver their personal best amongst their international competitors.

“We will be taking our full team proudly to the Rio Games and will strive to mitigate as much as possible any factors which could impact on their performance.”

Eleven time Paralympic champion, Dame Sarah Storey commented when news first came out about the cuts: “I didn’t want to be reading about a financial crisis. With her attention focused on delivering her best possible performance at the Games, the news obviously wasn’t what she wanted to hear. However, ever supportive of suggestions for improvement, she’s been busy sharing one twitter user’s suggestion that interested parties fund tickets to be given to children in Rio – who largely can’t afford to attend.

We’ll be following the Games when they kick off on September 7. The track events will take place between 8 and 11 of September and the road events will take place between 14 and 17 September.


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