Paralympics: Paralympic organisers hailed the “seismic effect in shifting public attitudes” to disability sports today, claiming the Games have changed public perceptions forever.
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe praised the “extraordinary summer of sport,” which has made household names of home-grown Paralympians such as swimmer Ellie Simmonds, wheelchair racer David Weir and sprinter Jonnie Peacock.
And he said the Paralympics coverage had helped raise awareness of disability in sport, providing a lasting legacy.
Coe said: “We set a goal to create awareness, I really think we have done that in helping converting some of those extraordinary talents into household names.
“I really genuinely think we have had a seismic effect in shifting public attitudes. I don’t think people will ever see sport the same way again. I don’t think they will ever see disability in the same way again.
“One of the most powerful observations was made to me, by one of our volunteers, who talked about having lifted some of the clouds of limitation.”
Coe’s comments came as new research showed eight in 10 British adults said the Paralympics have had a positive impact on the way disabled people are viewed by the public. Coe said: “The real challenge is to maintain sustainable and meaningful change.
“I would like to think that by extending the excitement from the Olympic Games into the Paralympic Games that exhilaration has led to a greater education. I think people will leave understanding a great deal more about the world they are living in.”