Olympics-Paris hoping to sell record 3 million tickets for 2024 Paralympics

FILE PHOTO: Paris 2024 Games chief Tony Estanguet poses after a news conference on Olympics preparations in Paris, France, December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The organisers of the 2024 Paralympic Games are aiming to sell three million tickets for the event which they hope will help raise awareness around disability and promote a more inclusive society.

Should all the tickets on sale for the Aug. 28-Sept. 8 Paralympics be purchased, the Games will break the record from London 2012 when 2.7 million tickets were sold.

"It's three million tickets that will be up for sale. We're very ambitious in terms of ticketing for the Olympics and the Paralympics," Tony Estanguet, the head of the organising committee for the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

"I'm convinced that it is an event that's unrecognised, that must me positioned among the top three sporting events in the world.

"The ticketing will be approached in the same way as the Olympic Games. We want it to be full and to be a total experience."

He added that around nine million tickets would be on sale for the July 6-Aug. 11 Olympics and said the difference between the two events was down to the sports and venues involved.

"For example there are no soccer stadiums involved in the Paralympics," Estanguet said.

Both the French Olympic and Paralympic teams have been branded as a single unit in order to promote disabled athletes.

"We have to educate people, it's our mission. The broadcaster for the Paralympics will need to work on that in the lead-up to the Games, it's part of what we are asking for," Estanguet, a three-time Olympic canoeing champion, explained.

In 2020, some 200 Paralympic and Olympic athletes went to more than 3,000 French schools to share their experiences with more than 500,000 students.

"Disability is a bit of a taboo. But when you see an athlete like Theo Curin, whose arms and legs have been amputated, share with the kids the way he does, it puts them at ease right away," said Estanguet.

"This is the kind of model we want for our society - more inclusive and inspiring.

"We also want to develop Paralympic sport in France. We're paying for projects with our own money to help this development. We want to shake things up."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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