Following the passing of Stephen Hawking on Wednesday (14 March), Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee, issued the following statement:
“Professor Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man and a pioneer for all people with an impairment around the world. He embodied the word ability more than anyone.
“In the Paralympic Movement we always say that Para athletes see challenges as opportunities to do things differently. Although not a Para athlete, Hawking did just that, finding innovative solutions to overcome his disability and continue his ground breaking work as a world-leading physicist.
“We are eternally grateful that he was involved in the London 2012 Paralympic Games and his words from the Opening Ceremony were truly magical.
“He said the Paralympic Games transform people’s perceptions of the world, and thanks to his inspirational work we know far more about the world that we live today.”