Today marks 2 years to the Opening Ceremony of the next Paralympic Games. How are Para athletes preparing?
Today, 28 August, marks 2 years to go to the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. We can barely wait! But for Para athletes, coaches, team managers and administrators, there’s a lot to do, and much of it has already started.
Below, we take a snapshot of Paralympics preparation from across the range of those involved.
A Para badminton player hasn’t represented New Zealand at the Paralympics – yet. Wojtek Czyż and a committed group at Badminton New Zealand are determined to change that. We spoke to him between competitions at the Indonesia Para Badminton International.
“I am here in Indonesia fighting for a medal, just one and a half years after I first trained in New Zealand. It will hopefully be my first medal in Para badminton – and New Zealand’s first international Para badminton medal too! I am absolutely committed to do everything necessary to represent New Zealand at Paris 2024. I want to show that everything is possible.”
Raylene Bates is Athletics NZ‘s Para athletics coach. She is counting down the days.
“Paris 2024 – only 734 days away and counting. What a four year cycle, having Tokyo 2020 and the 2022 World Para Athletics Championships postponed. Athletics as a sport, and the athletes especially, are desperate for international competition. They can’t wait to show the world that they have embraced the forced isolation and will take the stage focussed, primed and rearing to go. Bring it on!”
Lynette “Gracey” Grace has been the Games Campaign Manager for four Paralympic Games campaigns. For her, two years to go means having her ducks in a row.
“The International Paralympic Committee have released qualification criteria for most Para sports. I’ll be doing my first site visit in Paris in September. We’re thinking about practical considerations like where the Paralympic Village is in relation to the competition venues, and how we’ll get between them.”
Scott Martlew is a Para canoeist who competed at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. This month, he won an incredible bronze medal at the 2022 Para Canoe World Championships.
“I’m very excited to look ahead to another Paralympic Games campaign – after having a break following the 2022 World Championships. Time to start the build up to Paris!”
“My biggest priority right now is Paralympic qualification. Then it’s about performance delivery in Paris, what the courses will be, weather conditions, needed equipment, equipment development, and support on the ground during the Paralympics. We are working on planning all the way through to Paris from here. Two years will disappear real quick!”
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More about Paris 2024
Find out more about the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games on our Paris 2024 webpage.