Less than 10 months until the Paralympic Games in Paris. The Belgian Paralympic Committee is confident that the Games will be successful: “The impact of supporters will be enormous.”
If we ignore the 1980 Paralympic Games in Arnhem in the Netherlands (the event did not yet have its current scale), Paris 2024 will be an unprecedented opportunity for Belgian fans to be there.
“The impact of the supporters will be enormous,” says Marc Vergauwen, chairman of the Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC). “We expect a stampede.”
This rush should be accompanied by sporting success. “We want to at least equal the 15 medals from Tokyo 2020.”
We want to at least equal Tokyo’s 15 medals.
Marc Vergauwen took over as chairman from Anne D’Ieteren a year ago. The new chairman wants to focus more on young people. That is why many young athletes were taken on an internship in Belek, which is currently taking place.
“We hope to be able to reap the benefits of this from 2028,” says Vergauwen.
It is another step taken in the further professionalization of Paralympic sport in Belgium.
“That professionalization started in 2004. Until then, everything was done by volunteers. Now we focus on certified coaches, physiotherapists and physiotherapists. And that has also led to results. From the 0 medals in Athens then to the 15 in Tokyo, the number has been steadily increasing.”
“Already sold many more tickets than before”
Guillaume Gobert, BPC’s marketing and communications officer, also believes in the chances of the Belgians.
“We have had another successful year with 26 medals at the European and World Championships. We want to do at least as well as in Tokyo.”
And for this they count on the massive support from the home front: “It is a unique opportunity to be there. We have already sold many more tickets than before.”
“There are no exact data yet on how many tickets have already been sold to Belgians. Internationally, several disciplines have already been sold out.”
By analogy with the Olympic Games, there will also be a Belgian House in Paris, an extra asset to experience the Games on site.