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Craven disappointed with lack of coverage for Paralympics in North America

(Xinhua)

08:28, August 29, 2012

LONDON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Philip Craven on Monday expressed his disappointment in the lack of coverage for the Paralympic Games which are set to receive in North America.

"I'm very disappointed. I'm very disappointed for the athletes and I'm also very disappointed for the hundreds of millions of people who live in North America who don't have the opportunity on a very easy basis to access what will be amazing images," said Craven in a press conference on Monday afternoon, two days before the opening ceremony of the Games.

"Some people think that North America always lead on everything, and on this they don't. It's about time they caught up," he added.

Despite a number of leading Paralympians being involved in a protest against Atos's role in UK 'fit to work' tests, Atos is still a sponsor of IPC.

Craven said: "We as an organization have Atos - and not Atos healthcare, I might hasten to add - as a sponsor of the International Paralympic Committee, and also as a sponsor of the Games here. Our relationship with Atos has been incredibly positive. That's really the only relationship I can comment on."

On mentally impaired athletes returning to the Paralympic Games for the first time since Sydney 2000, Craven said efforts are still needed in the future.

"The organization that represented them had to work on a workable and new eligibility system. Really, cooperation between the IPC and Inas (International Federation for sport for para-athletes with an intellectual disability) only took off in 2007, 2008. Therefore that's the reason it seems to have taken such a long time, but we're just so very pleased to have them back in this time."

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