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3 December 2012

IPC Recognizes International Day for Persons with Disabilities

To mark the United Nation’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has launched a short online film “London 2012 – Best Games Ever”, featuring spectacular highlights from this summer’s Paralympics.


The film, which can be viewed here takes viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions: disappointment, anger, relief, joy, delight and satisfaction, by telling the stories of a number of Paralympians and showcasing their sporting abilities.


Key moments include Great Britain’s Ellie Simmonds tearful victory in the 400m freestyle, former racing driver Alex Zanardi’s first Paralympic handcycling win on the Brands Hatch track, Oscar Pistorius’ shock defeat in the 200m T44 as well as Jonnie Peacock’s epic 100m T44 win.


The film celebrates the achievements of Paralympians who, as post London 2012 research has shown, have created a seismic shift in the perceptions of people with an impairment in the UK and around the world.


Charity United Research found 81% of British adults changed their viewpoint of persons with a disability due to the Games. A further 85% felt athletes were people to aspire to. London 2012 found 65% of people thought the Games were a breakthrough to viewing disabled people – up from 40% in June 2010.”


The film ties in with the theme of this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities, ‘removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all’.


IPC President, Sir Philip Craven said: “We are delighted to launch this highly emotional video to coincide with the UN’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities as Paralympians, through their performances in London, did more than anyone to make for an inclusive world.


“In my London 2012 opening address I said those watching the Games would experience every single emotion, including ones never thought possible whilst at the same time challenging the way they think about themselves and how they think about others.


“This sensational video, which brought a tear to my eye when I first saw it, does exactly that. It’s a real mixture of raw emotions that will leave you feeling both elated and drained at the same time.


“The performances of athletes in London did not just inspire a generation, they changed a generation as the research shows.


“Thanks to the athletes and the Games barriers have been broken down and the world is now more inclusive and accessible than it was per London 2012.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also noted the impact the London 2012 Paralympics had on changing perceptions in his official message for the day.


“This year’s Paralympic Games were a reminder of the immense potential of persons with disabilities to soar and to inspire,” he said.


“One girl wrote to a Paralympic gold-medal champion, ‘Watching as you overcome the difficulties of life, reaching for new victories and new heights in sports, I derive strength and inspiration.’”