February 6, 2023

Scottish tandem duo Neil Fachey and Lewis Stewart feud with Wales James Ball and Matt Rotherham
The men’s tandem races in the Commonwealth of Nations have seen some massive fights between Scotland’s Neil Vasci and Wales’ James Poole.
Hosts: Birmingham dates: July 28 to August 8
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The International Paralympic Committee says the growth of the Paralympics could be “jeopardized” if the Games are combined with the Olympics.

The Para-sport program at the 2022 Commonwealth Games was a huge success and led to calls for more integration.

But while athletes and participating athletes in Birmingham have benefited from the growing picture, IPC spokesperson Craig Spence told BBC access to all podcasts The current agreement for separate Olympic and Paralympic Games “serves us well”.

The current deal for the city itself to host both games was signed in 2018 and runs until the 2032 Games in Brisbane.

“Since 1988, we have seen tremendous growth in Paralympic sports,” said Spence, IPC’s Head of Branding and Communications.

“We’re on a strong run and we’re growing the games, so the combination of both events is likely to derail and jeopardize that growth, and we could turn back.

“This is a conversation that comes up regularly, but you have to look to see if it makes sense to combine both games and at the moment we think it doesn’t.

“The current agreement is working with us at the moment. It serves us well and we love it and are keen to maintain it.”

Birmingham has seen a record 42 Paralympic events across eight sports, with over 350 athletes participating in a fully integrated programme.

Huge crowds from the likes of swimmers Maisie Summers Newton and Bettany Firth, athletes Hannah Cockcroft and Olivia Brin and cyclists Neil Vaci and James Ball chanted for the gold medal as they represented the nations.

However, the 2024 Paralympic Games will see 549 medal events with around 4,400 athletes attending as well as the support team.

And while Paralympic Games legend Taney Gray-Thompson supports greater integration in the Commonwealth as well as on a European and global level, she told the podcast that the logistics of the Olympics and Paralympics have been challenging.

“On a practical level, I don’t think there is a city in the world that can host a joint Games,” she said.

“There are 10,000 athletes in the Olympics and about 4,500 in the Paralympics, and in addition to the increased cost, it will end up becoming a program of about a month.

“So in reality, you will have to cut events and what will you cut?

“It should be a smaller Games and spectators will not be able to watch as many disabled people are participating.

“People in Birmingham love watching disabled people compete [at the Commonwealth Games]So we have to keep building the profile of the Paralympics to attract people to come and see athletes with special needs.”

Spence is also concerned that any merger could dampen the impact of the Paralympics.

“Britain is leading the way when it comes to disabled sport and coverage but this is not the same all over the world,” he said.

“Maybe the equality we want is the same level of coverage from broadcasters around the world for the Olympics and Paralympics – not just in Britain.

“Our fear is that if you were to bring both events together, you would not hear much about the Paralympics and would jeopardize the impact of the Games as the most transformative sporting event on Earth.

“Our ambition is to continue to grow the Paralympics and there is a lot of potential there to make the Games even better.”

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