International Paralympic Committee holds first press conference
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
London, England — Yesterday, the (IPC) held their first formal press conference as part of the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Approximately 60 media representatives attended and had the opportunity to ask questions of Craig Spence, IPC President , Chairman of the London Organizing Committee of the and Paralymic Games (LOCOG) , and LOCOG Director of Communications and Public Affairs Jackie Brock-Doyle following a short speech on the history of the Paralympic Games.
The reporters asked a variety of questions. A British journalist asked about having ATOS as a sponsor given the negative history the business has had with disability services in the country. The IPC responded by saying this is an issue that should be taken up by the relevant British government agency.
A Wikinews reporter asked if the high cost of technology for participating in disability sport at the elite level would leave Oceania, Asia, and Africa behind. Craven said historically, the IPC has worked on increasing disability sport participation; they were now working on changing that to developing disability sport around the world. He highlighted efforts by the IPC to bring down the cost of wheelchairs and prostheses as these are sporting equipment for participation in disability sport. He also said they had donated 4,000 wheelchairs to help spread disability sport.
A Canadian journalist from the asked about the lack of substantial coverage of the Games in North America. Craven responded by saying he was disappointed by United States coverage and the IPC has been aware of the problem for years. He contrasted the situation in the United States with , where the public successfully put pressure on the rights-holding network to improve the coverage of the Games.
Another reporter asked about Paralympic social media usage during the Games. Craven responded that while not a big user of it himself, the IPC embraced social media. Spence said the IPC encouraged everyone involved to use it; 47 Paralympians have video blogs, and the Opening Ceremonies will be covered while they happen.