How the two events are organised, the adaptations needed, the different classes of classification of athletes and corresponding medals are amongst the factors that have been shared and clearly these points, amongst others, need to be considered.
The events are run separately by two different organising bodies, but given that we seek an inclusive society where all are valued equality, is it time to consider combining the two? Is the world ready for such a move? Perhaps not all countries?
Athletes do not need to be at the Olympic venue for the full length of the Games. Currently athletes come and go to and from the Olympic venue. Take our Modern Pentathlon team; they did not arrive at the Olympic Village until the last few days of the Olympics. Therefore a longer event could work.
If one is spending many millions to build Olympic facilities could this be extended to include multi-use facilities from the start, without the need for significant adaptations? This would mean you could watch a range of different classification of events every day. Is it achievable or cost prohibitive?
Logistically no doubt it would be a challenge, but I am sure a combined event could be scheduled to include the different classes needed (e.g.) 14 classes for swimmers.
Regarding the gold, silver and bronze medals, they represent that those who have won them are the best in the world at each event. If more medals are needed (than at the current Olympics) to cover all classifications of athletes, let’s do that, rather than limit inclusion.
Beyond the Olympics and Paralympics, at school level, should we be reviewing the inclusiveness of e.g. District Sports?
I hope there will be healthy debate regarding the inclusiveness of sport in the coming weeks and beyond.
As Oscar Pistorius has said, let’s focus on people’s abilities not disabilities.