IOC President to miss the Paralympics Opening Cermony for the first time in 32 years

Thomas Bach will instead be in Germany at a state funeral

BY Daniel Kelly 10:42 Wednesday 7 September 2016, 10:42 7 Sep 2016

Thomas Bach Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

For the first time in 32 years, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President is to miss the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

Just like it did last month, the Maracana Stadium, will host the event in the early hours on Friday morning, but will do so without Thomas Bach in attendance. Para-sailor John Twomey will lead the Irish team into the stadium.

Bach only became IOC President in 2013, and this is his first Summer Paralympics in the role. Two year ago, Bach did attend the Winter Paralympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia.

Inside The Games have reported that Bach is to attend the official state mourning of  the former West Germany President Walter Scheel. The IOC will be represented at the event by Sam Ramsamy.

Tensions between the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have been noticeable in recent weeks in the buildup to both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The IPC decided to give a blanket ban to all Russian athletes last month. Despite pressures to do the same, the IOC allowed individual sporting bodies to decide the participation of Russia's stars in Brazil.

Bach's absence will be the first time, since 1984 the IOC President will be not in attendance. Since 1988, the Olympic and Paralympic Games have both taken place, weeks apart in the same city.


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