University experts ready to debate why we hold separate Olympic and Paralympic Games
12 August 2012
The Olympic Games are over and now the most popular Paralympic Games ever begin on Friday 29th August. But why are the Games held separately rather than as one big event? University experts give their views to Podium ahead of a debate this evening.
University experts are preparing to debate on why we hold separate Olympic and Paralympic Games, to be held at Senate House on Monday 13th August. The panel discussion picks up on an on-going issue surrounding the Games, just one day after the London 2012 closing ceremony.
The panel discussion, chaired by Professor Nick Tyler CBE (pictured), who is Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCL, is anticipating a high-level debate, saying: “I can see arguments on both sides, which raises very interesting issues. It will be good to open it up and see what transpires and how people feel about it.
“There is an interesting panel, I quite deliberately tried to get people from across the spectrum, including an academic former Paralympian, the person responsible for accessibility for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games and someone from Channel Four who are broadcasting the Paralympic Games, and actually gain quite a lot from them being separate.”
Panellists will include Dr P David Howe, former Paralympian and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology of Sport at Loughborough University; Prof Nora Groce, Director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre; and Mark Dyer, Accessible Transport Manager at the London 2012 Olympic Delivery Authority.
The topic gained some heat after president of International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Sir Philip Craven, spoke to the BBC just two months before London 2012 commented on the merging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a real possibility.
Sir Craven said: "Whatever's right for athletes within the Paralympic movement then let's look to do it.
"It's really a logistical problem at the moment but I'm not dead against the idea, in principle, of them coming together at some time."
Professor Tyler explained: “We are taking advantage of the timing – the issue is quite hot right now as the Paralympic Games are soon coming. This is the only UCL debate discussing both the Olympic and Paralympic Games and so it was perfect that it be held between the two.”
The event forms part of UCL's series of talks, exhibitions and discussions inspired by the London 2012 Games.
By Ruth Faulkner
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