Only days after returning from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, a team of leading
officials from Paris 2012, headed by Jean Francois Lamour, French Minister of
Sport, Youth and Associations, is set to return to Athens for the Paralympic Games
in time for the Opening Ceremony on September 17, 2004.
The Paris 2012 team will be looking to glean valuable insights and learnings from the Athens event, to ensure that Paris 2012’s Candidature File, due to the
International Olympic Committee on November 15, 2004, will be of the highest standard.
The Paris 2012 contingent attending the 2004 Paralympics in Athens will include
Pénélope Komitès, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of people with a disability; Marie-Anne Montchamp, State Secretary in charge of people with a disability; and Philippe Baudillon, Chief Executive Officer of Paris 2012.
Jean-François Lamour believes that the 2012 Paralympic Games would leave a lasting and priceless
legacy to the whole country.
“France has an excellent track-record of organizing competitive sporting events for athletes with a disability. Such
prestigious events have a unifying and inspiring effect on our society. Recent
events, such as the IIIth IPC Athletics World Championships in 2002 in Lille or
the exhibition competitions held for athletes with a disability at the 2003 IAAF
World Championship in Athletics demonstrated the enthusiasm and support of the
French public, and we welcome every opportunity to host these inspirational events
in the future”, he said.
“We hope that the Paris 2012 team is able to learn as much as possible from the Athens 2004 Paralympics in order to ensure that the Paris 2012 Paralympics would be the best yet.”
Hosting the 2012 Paralympic Games would mark the launch of a seven-year national campaign to increase public awareness and enhance perceptions towards people with disabilities
on the strength of education and training programs, and employment initiatives.
In addition, the campaign would provide for the further integration of people
with disability by accelerating the development of appropriate facilities and
The Paralympic Games would enable athletes with a disability to showcase their
talents and love of sports on an equal playing field, while further accelerating
integration with a broader range of sports federations.
Paris 2012’s presence at the Paralympic Games will include participation in the official Observer Programme set up by ATHOC and the International Paralympic Committee as well as the installation
of a Paris 2012 stand in the Royal Olympic Hotel - home of the French athletes,
medallists and delegates while in Athens. The stand will also provide information
on the Paris 2012 bid to visitors.
“Making the Paralympic Games a global sporting success, accessible to all, is
one of Paris 2012’s major goals,” said Phillipe Baudillon, CEO of Paris 2012.
“It is also our aim to ensure that the 2012 Paralympics in Paris would significantly
improve the long term awareness, understanding and appreciation of people of all
abilities in France."
“Attending the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was a tremendous learning experience for Paris 2012 and sending a team to the Paralympic Games to watch, listen and learn is just
as important,” he said.