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Paul McCartney song starts Paralympics on 100-day countdown to opening ceremony in Paris

GENEVA (AP) — With an assist from Paul McCartney the Paralympic Games starts its 100-day race on Monday to the opening ceremony in Paris in August.

The former Beatle has let “We All Stand Together” — the signature tune from an award-winning animated film he wrote and produced 40 years ago — be used in a promotional film for the International Paralympic Committee.

“Sir Paul really understands what we stand for as a movement and he was so generous to us,” IPC president Andrew Parsons told The Associated Press. “He was not difficult to convince, it was something that came very naturally.”

In 100 days from Monday, the Summer Paralympics opening ceremony on Aug. 28 will play out along a section of the Champs-Élysées and Place de la Concorde. The 4,400 athletes taking part will compete over the following 11 days watched by up to 2.7 million spectators in venues including ones beneath the Eiffel Tower and at Versailles Palace.

“We have probably the most famous avenue in the world,” Parsons said in a recent interview. “That is really exciting. The city is really embracing Paralympic athletes, athletes with disabilities.”

“With our games we talk a lot about inclusion and it’s a good symbol of that. That very welcoming attitude is I think a very good start to our games.”

A turning point for the Paralympic movement came in London in 2012 when the host country rose to the occasion with huge ticket sales and a radically fresh approach to broadcasting it by Britain’s Channel 4.

“Still the benchmark games of our movement,” said Parsons, whose home nation Brazil hosted in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

To promote those Rio Paralympics, Channel 4 produced the “We’re the Superhumans” musical film that was a landmark of high-production values and inspirational images.

“Many broadcasters come to us in their preparations in different parts of the world and they normally ask, ‘What is Channel 4 doing?’” Parsons said. The IPC’s trailer inspired by McCartney’s “Rupert and the Frog Song” film is in that tradition.

The Paris Paralympics will have a record 164 broadcasters worldwide covering 549 events across 22 sports.


AP Paris Olympics: https://ift.tt/KI7EpwS

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