International Paralympic Committee leaders to visit Los Angeles and attend Team USA Awards on Wednesday

For immediate release

November 28, 2017

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Los Angeles - International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons will visit Los Angeles on Wednesday, joined by IPC Vice President Duane Kale and IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez. Making his first visit since his election as IPC President in September, Parsons will see first-hand LA’s plans to host its first Paralympic Games after the Olympic Games in the summer of 2028.

On Wednesday November 29, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman and CEO Gene Sykes and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will join the IPC delegation at UCLA, home of the 2028 Paralympic Village. The IPC delegation will tour the picturesque campus and have lunch at one of UCLA’s four-star student dining halls. In the evening, IPC leaders will attend the Team USA Awards at UCLA’s Royce Hall, where President Parsons will present the award for "Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year."

On Thursday November 30 the IPC delegation will meet with Dr. Stephen Simon, Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles’ Department on Disability, followed by a tour of LA 2028’s Paralympic venues at LA Live, including Staples Center which will host wheelchair basketball and Microsoft Theater which will host powerlifting. The IPC delegation’s visit will conclude with a tour of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA 2028’s Paralympic track and field venue.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: "It is an honor to welcome President Parsons and the IPC to the City of Angels. In the years leading up to L.A.’s first-ever Paralympic Games in 2028, we will harness the energy and excitement for the Games to boost access and participation in sport for the more than 600,000 Angelenos with a disability. That’s legacy in action — and a legacy that begins today."

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: "I’m really looking forward to visiting Los Angeles for the first time since the city was awarded the 2028 Paralympic Games. Although the Games are 11 years away there is not a moment to waste in terms of the Paralympic Movement making a breakthrough in the US market."

LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman said: "We are thrilled to share our city with IPC President Parsons and his colleagues, as well as the ways in which LA will help grow Paralympic sport in the US and worldwide. The IPC delegation will catch a glimpse of our accessible Paralympic Village and advanced sports presentation capabilities, right alongside the creativity of the entertainment industry and the passion of Angeleno fans. We look forward to putting our city’s unique strengths at the service of growing the Paralympic Movement over the next 11 years."

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said: "We had the pleasure of welcoming President Parsons to Colorado Springs earlier this week and were able to showcase some of the amazing Team USA athletes preparing for the upcoming Paralympic Games in PyeongChang. We were also able to discuss the transformational opportunity that LA 2028 creates for promoting the Paralympic Movement and the athletes we all serve."

Since 1988, the Paralympic Games have taken place in the same venues as the Olympic Games, with the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games held approximately two weeks after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. The last summer American Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta in 1996.

Influenced by first-hand input from Paralympic athletes, LA 2028 is fully committed to delivering a phenomenal experience for all athletes and attendees at the 2028 Paralympic Games. The 2028 Paralympic Games will benefit from the same four Sports Parks, Village at UCLA, and other world-class venues as the Olympic Games, offering the greatest stage to showcase the world’s best athletes and change societal perceptions about disabled persons.

At the 1984 LA Olympic Games, Neroli Fairhall became the first wheelchair athlete to compete at the Olympic Games, when she placed 35th for New Zealand in archery. The LA Games also featured two demonstration wheelchair races at the LA Memorial Coliseum – an 800 meter women’s race and 1500 meter men’s race.

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