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Athens 2004 Paralympic Events Determined

(Bonn, Germany) October 15, 2002 – The IPC Executive Committee determined the events programme for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens at a meeting in Bonn last weekend.

Athletes will compete in around 500 medal events in 18 sports. The selected events reflect the IPC's commitment to support female athletes and those with severe disabilities. For example, Judo and Sitting Volleyball will be offered for women for the first time. In Boccia and Wheelchair Tennis, new events were added, which cater for athletes with severe disabilities. Events for athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) have not been included in the programme at this point. A final decision will be taken at the end of January 2003.

At the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, several athletes had cheated and competed in events for intellectually disabled athletes, although they did not meet the eligibility criteria. The IPC and INAS-FID, the international sports federation for athletes with intellectual disabilities, have worked together since then to establish an eligibility system and protest procedures which will prevent such incidents from happening again.

The IPC President said that he was pleased with the progress made towards the establishment of a new eligibility system, which must have a strong focus on the athletes' sport specific abilities. INAS-FID announced that it now fully accepts the IPC's conditions for ID-events with full medal status being included in all IPC-sanctioned competitions; but it acknowledged that it does not meet these criteria yet. The IPC Executive Committee decided to give INAS-FID the opportunity to continue developing a new eligibility system. However, a final decision concerning the inclusion of ID-events in the programme of the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games will be taken January 2003.

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