Paralympics-More than 160 countries to broadcast Paris 2024

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is seen on an official Paris 2024 store in Paris, France, February 8, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - More than 160 countries have committed to broadcasting the Paris 2024 Paralympics as interest in the event continues to grow, organisers said on Wednesday.

"Paris 2024 will make history as the first Paralympic Games to offer some live coverage from each of the 22 sports. At Tokyo 2020, 19 sports were broadcast, and at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 15 sports were shown live," Paris 2024 said in a statement.

Andrew Parsons, head of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), was confident it would help change attitudes towards disability.

"The Paralympic movement is probably better than ever before in terms of sport performances," Parsons told Reuters.

"Paris is an incredible city with iconic venues, with iconic landmarks and some of the venues are very close to it; all the Games will look spectacular."

He said the opening ceremony would be outside of a stadium, "which in our case will be on the Champs Elysees and the Place de la Concorde. I think it translates the feeling that Paris is embracing the Paralympic movement."

Paris, however, faces an accessibility problem with few metro station designed to welcome people with disabilities.

"Obviously come the Paralympics, it becomes a huge focal point," Parsons said.

He said that authorities, however, had "found solutions or alternatives in making the overground system transport system more accessible" with an investment of 125 million euros over three years.

That investment would make "bus stops, bus routes, bus vehicles, more accessible, making sure that during the Games time for example, we will have 1,000 accessible taxis in Paris."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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