Paralympics Will Continue To Be Co-Sited With Olympics At Least Until 2032

A long-term partnership agreement struck between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will ensure that both marquee Games will continue to be co-sited in the same host city until 2032.

IPC President Andrew Parsons (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach in PyeongChang © • Lieven Coudenys
IPC President Andrew Parsons (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach in PyeongChang © Lieven Coudenys

The historic agreement means that the Paralympic Games site selection process will continue to piggyback on the Olympic Summer and Winter Games process whereby cities bidding to host the Olympic Games are required to include plans to stage the Paralympics shortly after the Olympics conclude, using many of the same venues.  The Winter Games in Beijing in 2022 and the Summer Games set for Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028 have already been confirmed as Paralympic hosts and the new agreement will become part of the bid processes for the 2026 and 2030 Winter Games and 2032 Summer Games.

Subsequent bids, including those for the 2034, 2036 and 2038 Olympics will also likely include the Paralympics component unless a future agreement is arranged prior to the 2032 expiration.

The first Paralympic Games to parallel the Olympic Games and share some of the same facilities were staged in Seoul in 1988, and were followed by the first co-sited Winter Games in Albertville in 1992.  The IOC and IPC continued the arrangement for Games through 2001 until a more formalized agreement was reached to cover the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Games – mandating that the host city for the Olympics was obliged to also accommodate the Paralympic Games through a single bid.

A second deal was struck in 2006 that covered Games held in Sochi in 2014 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and for subsequent Games, then in 2013 the deal was modified to include PeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.

The new agreement, signed by IOC President Thomas Bach and IPC President Andrew Parsons in PyeongChang, South Korea during the Paralympic Games, includes additional strategic elements to further the goals of both organizations.

The organizations will continue to work together to enhance the Paralympic brand and to work on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 – the Movement’s strategic roadmap charting the direction for international sport.  The IPC will also to continue to benefit financially from sponsorships of Olympic global sponsors and broadcast partners.

Bach said in a statement “Enhancing the cooperation between the Olympic and Paralympic Movement was one of the key recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020. Therefore, the IOC is pleased to strengthen its substantial support to the IPC and the entire Paralympic Movement because we share so many of the same values and objectives.”

Parsons said “Strengthening the relationship with the IOC and securing the future of the IPC and the Paralympic Movement was my number-one priority when I was elected as IPC President last September.”

“Therefore, I am delighted that we have signed a historic long-term new partnership agreement and can now look forward to an exciting future working together.

“There can be no doubt that the IPC and the Paralympic Movement would not be where it is today without the support and cooperation of the IOC. Since our first formal agreement signed in 2000, the Paralympic Games and the Movement as a whole have grown beyond all recognition.

“Both organisations share a passion that sport can change lives and that sport can change the world. Working together and even closer into a fourth decade will further the impact both of our work has on society.”

The Paralympic Winter Games continue in PyeongChang until March 18.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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