Leveraging the London 2012 Paralympic Games: What Legacy for Disabled People?

Brittain, I. and Beacom, A. (2016) Leveraging the London 2012 Paralympic Games: What Legacy for Disabled People? Journal of Sport & Social Issues. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0193-7235

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1177/0193723516655580

Abstract

The International Paralympic Committee, U.K. Government, and the Organizing Committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games all contended that the London 2012 Paralympic Games would positively impact the lives of disabled people in the United Kingdom, particularly with regard to changing nondisabled attitudes toward disability. All three have claimed partial success during the course of the 4-year period (Olympiad) separating the London and Rio Paralympic Games. However, this is at odds with the findings of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and the experiences of disabled individuals. This article considers the claims of both sides against a backdrop of public policies that are targeting large-scale benefit cuts, the media coverage of which actually appears to be hardening attitudes toward anyone on benefits and negating any positive impacts from the Games themselves. It argues that the continued predominance of “ableist” perspectives on disability underpins many of the challenges faced by disabled people. The article adopts a historical perspective on the development of legacy-based foundations upon which the disability sport and Paralympic movements originated. It contends that the gradual move toward an elite “Olympic” sports model of competition has actually served to undermine these foundations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Paralympic, legacy, London 2012, disabled people, benefit cuts
Members: University of St Mark & St John
Depositing User: Mrs Wendy Evans
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2016 11:50
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2016 11:53
URI: http://collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/9303

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