Aug 3,2014(ISN) – The President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sir Philip Craven has hailed the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a “tremendous success” and said the profile received by para-sport during the 12 day event gave him flashbacks of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Sir Philip was in Glasgow for the Opening Ceremony and the first few days of competition and has followed the remainder of the event on television. He was greatly impressed by what he saw and has picked out his highlights from the Games whilst looking ahead to Gold Coast 2018.
“Glasgow 2014 has been a tremendous success,” said Sir Philip. “Huge congratulations must go to our former colleague David Grevemberg, CEO of Glasgow 2014, his team and the wonderful volunteers, who have done a terrific job in organising such a great sporting event.
“To build on the success of London 2012 is no mean feat, but Glasgow 2014 has done just that creating a feel good factor that has stretched all the way from the host country, across the Commonwealth, and beyond.
“Everything about the event has been first class – the organisation, the crowds, the coverage – even the famous Scottish weather played fair for most of the time!”
Glasgow 2014 CEO Grevemberg, is the IPC’s former Executive Director of Sport and International Federation (IF) Relations, and was instrumental in integrating para-sport as medal events into the Commonwealth Games for the first time in Manchester in 2002.
Since then the number of medal events has grown each edition and Glasgow 2014 hosted the biggest ever para-sport programme at a Commonwealth Games. Nearly 300 athletes competed in 22 medal events across five sports – athletics, cycling, lawn bowls, powerlifting and swimming – and proved a great success for all involved.
“The para-sport programme has been outstanding and was really well received by all. The feedback from athletes has been phenomenal with many saying it was just like London 2012 all over again,” said Sir Philip.
“To see para-athletes making the front and back page of newspapers, making the headlines and enjoying the profile they deserve for their performances was great to see. I would personally like to thank all the media and broadcasters for their superb coverage during Glasgow 2014.
“Such recognition helps to build the profile of para-sport post London 2012 and underlines that what was achieved at London 2012 was no fluke; people now see para-sport as high performance sport featuring the world’s best athletes.”
In addition to praising all medallists from the Glasgow 2014 para-sport programme, Sir Philip has picked out a number of the para-athletes for special praise.
Sir Philip said: “Australia’s two teenage swimmers – Rowan Crothers and Maddison Elliott – showed they will be forces to be reckoned with next year when our World Championships return to Glasgow, whilst England’s Ali Jawad was in exceptional form on Saturday when he smashed his own powerlifting world record not once, but twice.
“Three athletes representing Scotland also deserve a special mention too. Sprinter Libby Clegg and her guide Mikail Huggins, won Scotland’s first Commonwealth track gold for 20 years, and what else can be said about 13-year-old swimmer Erraid Davies?
“Her smile in winning bronze in the 100m breaststroke lit up the entire Games and will be one of the many highlights I take away from a sensational Glasgow 2014.”
The next Commonwealth Games will take start in 1,340 days’ time in Gold Coast, Australia, and the IPC is already looking ahead to the future.
“In the same way that Glasgow 2014 has helped build on the success of London 2012, Gold Coast 2018 will be the biggest showcase of para-sport in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics,” said Sir Philip.
“The organising committee is committed to including para-sport events. The IPC, together with the Commonwealth Games Federation, will be working closely with them to ensure we have a strong programme in four years’ time with events that cover athletes and sports which are strongly represented within the Commonwealth.”