The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Monday (15 August) held a number of productive meetings as it stepped up efforts to try and find solutions to the financial issues the Rio 2016 Organising Committee has ahead of next month’s Paralympic Games.
This morning at a meeting at City Hall in Rio, IPC President Sir Philip Craven, Vice President Andrew Parsons and IPC Chief Executive Xavier Gonzalez were given a personal guarantee from Mayor Eduardo Paes that he is willing to cover the costs associated with the Paralympic Games.
Later in the day in Brasilia, Sir Philip Craven together with Andrew Parsons, met with Mr. Eliseu Padilha, Minister Chief of Cabinet, to outline the importance of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and discuss the challenges that are currently being faced.
Sir Philip Craven said: “Today we held very positive meetings both in Rio and in the Brazilian capital to try and alleviate the situation we currently find ourselves in as a result of the Organising Committee’s budget.
“Although the situation is pretty precarious, rumours that the Games may not go ahead or that sports may be cut are totally unfounded and not true. Our aim right now is to bring in additional funding and resources in order to deliver the Games at the service levels expected by all stakeholders, most importantly the athletes.
“If no extra funding is available then the Organising Committee will have to implement further cuts to the Paralympic Games on top of the cuts we have already made alongside the IOC and Olympics.
“Throughout this whole situation, we have always wanted to guarantee the athlete experience. Regrettably, if no more funding is available then the Organising Committee’s additional cuts will start to impact on the services offered to the athletes who have dedicated years of their lives to reach and compete at these Games. This is the last thing that we want to do.
“We are extremely thankful and grateful that Mayor Paes, who has always been a huge advocate of the Paralympic Games and the impact they will have on his city, continues to show great leadership and support for the Paralympic Games. This morning he reaffirmed his support to the Paralympics and said he was prepared to deliver BRL 150 million to ensure the success of the Games.
“The hurdle to this solution is that there is currently an injunction on any further public funding from Municipal and Federal Governments going towards the Games unless the Rio 2016 Organising Committee make available full financial spending details.
“Clearly, the simplest and easiest way round this is for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to be open and transparent with its financial records in order to allow this additional funding to come in.
“In Brasilia we had a good meeting with the Minister Chief of Cabinet who reconfirmed the Government’s commitment to the Paralympic Games.
“Finally, it looks like we are a step closer to the payment of support grants to National Paralympic Committees which are now more than two weeks overdue. The Organising Committee has now committed to paying these grants by the end of the month. Failure to do so could result in a number of countries being unable to attend the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, an event they have been planning and preparing for for a number of years.”