From The Paralympic Newsletter
The planning for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games is continously becoming more specific. In October, the IPC Executive Committee took a major decision and approved the events programme for the Paralympic Games in 2004. Only the Swimming events will be determined after the 2002 Swimming World Championships in Argentina in December. The IPC expects the number of events to be 530. However, several new events have been added to the programme, which cater for severely disabled athletes and women. Events for athletes with intellectual disabilities were not included at this point.
In addition, the competition venue list and the competition schedule for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games were agreed upon. Finalisation of the two are also subject to the resolution of the inclusion of intellectually disabled athletes end of January. All Paralympic venues will have been Olympic venues as well.
The Executive Committee also approved the qualification guide for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. This document provides the perfomance standards to be met by athletes who plan to participate in the Games and will be available to all National Paralympic Committees so that they can adapt their athletes’ selection and training plans accordingly.
At future Paralympic Games, the IPC might sell commercial advertisement on competitors’ bibs. This decision was taken by the Executive Committee in order to raise funds needed in other areas such as broadcasting. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s creation of a universal anti-doping code was supported by all committee members. Following the adoption of the final draft, the IPC will make respective amendments to the IPC Medical and Anti-Doping Code, which governs doping control at Paralympic Games and other IPC-sanctioned sporting competitions.
Putting the general consensus into action that athletes with severe disabilities and women need special attention in the Paralympic movement, Jim Thompson from the United States was appointed new chairperson of the IPC Commission for Athletes with Severe Disabilities, which will have its inaugurative meeting in early 2003. The IPC Women in Sport Commission, chaired by Ann Cody, also from the United States, will convene for the first time in spring 2003.