Paris to host maiden World Paralympics event


Paris to host 2023 Para-Athletics World Championships Image: European Athletics Championships

Paris (France) will host the World Para Athletics Championships for the first time from July 8th to July 17th, 2023.

The ‘Paralympic’ stated that the announcement in this regard was made on December 9th by the World Para Athletics, the French Handisport Federation (FFH), the NPC France, the City of Paris, the Ministry of Sport of France, and the Ministry in Charge of Disabled People.

The World Para Athletics Championships, known as the IPC Athletics World Championships prior to 2017, are a biennial Paralympic athletics event organized by the World Para Athletics, a subcommittee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The French Handisport Federation (FFH) is an association under the 1901 law responsible for organizing, promoting and developing physical and competitive sports and leisure activities for people with motor, visual or hearing impairments. It is approved by the Ministry of Sports and was recognized as public utility on June 17th, 1983. Created in 1954, the association has changed its name several times and has been called FFH since 1977.

The ‘Paralympic’ further stated that the World Para Athletics Championships is set to be the biggest Para sport event to take place in the French capital before the Paris 2024 Paralympics Games.

The 2024 Summer Paralympics – also known as the 17th Summer Paralympic Games, and commonly known as Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, are an upcoming major international multisport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, and is likely to be held in Paris from August 28th to September 8th, 2024. These games mark the first time Paris will host the Paralympics in its history.

The competition will be held at the 20,000-capacity Charléty Stadium in Paris which is a familiar venue to many of the world’s best para athletes as it has hosted World Para Athletics Grand Prix since 2017. The IPC President Andrew Parsons joined the announcement in a virtual press conference on the morning of December 9th.

Parsons observed, “It is not common that the Host City of the Paralympics also hosts such a major World Championships one year before the Games. I hope everyone is excited with the news as we are. The best athletes in the world will be inspiring and exciting Paris already in a great World Championships in 2023 and will return in 2024 for the Paralympic Games.”

The virtual announcement also had the participation of the French Secretary of State in charge of People with Disabilities, Sophie Cluzel, the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Pierre Rabadan, and the President of NPC France and four-time Para athletics world champion, Marie-Amelie Le Fur, alongside French Para athletes Arnaud Assoumani and Alexandra Nouchet.

Commented Guislaine Westelynck, President of the French Handisport Federation, “We are very proud to work on the World Para Athletics Championships Paris 23 project. We are already visualizing it, we are already dreaming about it, with all the synergies and the legacy it can bring. I am confident thanks to our knowledge, after the successes of Villeneuve d’Ascq 2002, Lyon 2013, the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Paris, and all the international competitions that we have already organized in other sports. I am pleased with the support from the institutional partners, who immediately positioned themselves on the starting line alongside us. What a fantastic opportunity to celebrate athletes from all over the world, one year before hosting the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Exulted Haozhe Gao, Head of World Para Athletics, “World Para Athletics is extremely happy to announce that Paris will host our World Championships for the first time in 2023. The City’s record of hosting successful sporting events speaks for itself and we know the impact para athletics can have in changing attitudes towards persons with disabilities and transforming lives on and off the track. Paris 2023 has a potential to deliver the best World Championships ever with a clear vision for a post-event legacy embracing the values of inclusion, diversity, accessibility, and sustainability.”

Paris 2023 will be third edition of the World Championships to be held in France following Lille/Villeneuve d’Ascq 2002 and Lyon 2013.

The last edition of the World Championships took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2019 with more than 1,300 athletes from 92 nations taking part in the sporting show.

The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and also known as Paris 2024, is an upcoming international multisport event scheduled to take place from July 26th to August 11th, 2024 in Paris, France.

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