LOS ANGELES – The United States House of Representatives and US Senate have officially designated July 29, 2017, as “Paralympic and Adaptive Sport Day,” an effort spearheaded by the LA 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bid and the United States Olympic Committee.
July 29 marks the 70th anniversary of the Stoke Mandeville Games, where World War II veterans participated in the first wheelchair competition and ignited the Paralympic Movement. The Opening Ceremonies of the Stoke Mandeville Games and the London 1948 Olympic Games took place simultaneously.
The resolution was introduced in the House by Representatives by Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), and co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. David Reichert (R-WA) and Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-FL). US Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the resolution in the Senate, which recognizes the importance of the Paralympic Movement and the value that adapted sport brings to society.
LA 2024’s inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games plan emphasizes equality of experience for all participants. As an athlete-led bid, LA 2024 included an unprecedented amount of feedback from Olympians and Paralympians to create the best experience for all athletes. LA 2024’s venues and the state-of-the-art ready-made Olympic and Paralympic Village at UCLA are proven for their accessibility, and LA’s public transit system is one of the few in the world that is 100% accessible.
LA 2024’s Games plan would also offer the Paralympic Movement maximum exposure by hosting the Paralympic Games immediately after the Olympic Games in August, which would put adapted sports in primetime and introduce a whole new generation to the Paralympic Movement. LA’s unparalleled sport presentation and major event hosting experience would help the Paralympic Movement tap into the U.S.’s $250 billion sports marketplace. The Paralympic Games would also be managed by the same team as the Olympic Games, ensuring all needs are met.
Nine-time Paralympic champion and LA 2024 Vice Chair and Director of Paralympic and Disability Engagement Candace Cable said: “We are thrilled with the Senate’s enthusiastic support of America’s Paralympic Movement by designating this important day and demonstrating the U.S.’s embrace of adapted sport.
“Our vision for the 2024 Paralympic Games is one of equality of experience and we plan to deliver the most cohesive Games in history. In 1984, LA gave me the honor of competing in the Olympic Games because the IOC and the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee recognized the value of Paralympic sport. That’s why I am so excited that LA 2024 could have the opportunity to carry this torch and connect a whole new generation to the power of the adapted and Paralympic sport.”