The Future Development of the Paralympic Games

The Future Development of the Paralympic Games: From Stoke Mandeville (1948) to London (2012) and Beyond

Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London)
Medawar Building,
Malet Place (off Torrington Place),
London WC1

Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 6pm

(For directions click here)

Given by: Jose Gigante, Paralympic Games Coordinator with the International Paralympic Committee


In this presentation Jose Gigante presents an overview of the work of the world Paralympic Movement as we approach the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He explains the factors that have informed its successful development to date, the challenges it faces, and outlines the Movement’s plans for the future organisation and expansion of Paralympic sport.

By way of further background; turning disabilities into abilities in over 6 decades, the Paralympic Movement has challenged itself and the perception of the public. Never before has it been so all encompassing creating change inside and outside of sport. From humble beginnings in 1944 in the UK’s Stoke Mandeville hospital through Dr Ludwig Guttman’s work with patients with spinal cord injuries, and then through the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, the Paralympic Movement has grown to develop elite competitions for athletes with different types of disability groups in 26 sports both in Summer and Winter: increasing the number of athletes year by year; advancing to the next level of organisation; setting new standards and new goals with each Paralympic Games; following the clear vision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC); striving to breakdown walls of  prejudice and discrimination; changing perceptions by showcasing courage and determination; and seeking to motivate and educate through sport. Today the Paralympic Games are top and higher level competitions selling out venues and fascinating the public with the best possible performances.

The International Paralympic Committee was founded in 1989 and it is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The vision of the future was detailed in the Strategic Plan 2011-2014 outlining the focus and priorities of the International Paralympic Committee for the following four years. This Strategic Plan aims to achieve the next step and ensure a sustainable development for the Paralympic Movement.

Video Interview with Jose Gigante

  • For those who were unable to attend Jose Gigante’s presentation an interview where Jose discusses key issues covered in his presentation can be viewed here:



Jose Gigante
Jose joined the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 2010 and works as Paralympic Games Coordinator for the Paralympic Games Department. This IPC department works in close collaboration with the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Organising Committees in planning, coordination, knowledge transfer and support, among other activities. Jose holds a Sport Sciences & Physical Education degree from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid; and is also a former student of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he gained a Masters in International Business (with a sub-specialism in sport management). Prior to working for the IPC, Jose worked as a Management Consultant for SMEs within the Sports Industry, and was a Research Fellow at IESE Business School, Madrid, Spain, working on sport industry projects.

Contact Details

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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