CBC/Radio-Canada announced as Canadian broadcast host of 2024, 2026 Paralympics

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A composite image shows Canadian Paralympians Mark Arendz, left, and Marissa Papaconstantinou. CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced a broadcast partnership Wednesday for the 2024 and 2026 Paralympics. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
A composite image shows Canadian Paralympians Mark Arendz, left, and Marissa Papaconstantinou. CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced a broadcast partnership Wednesday for the 2024 and 2026 Paralympics. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

CBC/Radio-Canada will be the Canadian broadcast home of the Paris 2024 and Milano-Cortina 2026 Paralympic Games.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and CBC/Radio-Canada announced the broadcast partnership and details on Wednesday in Ottawa.

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In the past, the CPC has been the rights holder of the Paralympic Games broadcast. Since Sochi 2014, the CPC has been working with CBC/Radio-Canada and a consortium of partners to bring the action back to Canadians.

For 2024 and 2026, CBC/Radio-Canada will play a larger role, sublicensing the rights as the official broadcaster of the Games. Canada's national public broadcaster will provide comprehensive Paralympic Games coverage across its television, streaming and digital platforms in English and French.

The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games take place Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, 2024 and the Milano-Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games run March 6-15, 2026. More information about the broadcast plans will be available closer to the Games.

"We are proud to renew our commitment to presenting the very best in sport through our partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee," said Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada.

"As Canada's Paralympic Network, it is a privilege to bring audiences the joy of watching Canada's talented Paralympians as they compete on the world stage."

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Karen O'Neill, CEO for the CPC, says this partnership underscores CBC's commitment to the Paralympic movement.

"We are incredibly pleased to be in partnership with the CBC heading into both the Paris and Milano Cortina Summer and Winter Paralympics. We have enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with the CBC for years now, and this next chapter really builds upon the previous success in sharing the stories of Canada's remarkable Paralympic athletes," she told CBC Sports.

"The CBC continues to deepen their commitment to Paralympic sport and the powerful role it can play to promote the value of sport, inclusion and access for each Canadian."

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Just over a year ago 48 Canadian athletes competed at the Paralympics in Beijing. The team captured 25 medals throughout the competition, including eight gold, six silver and 11 bronze medals.

Canadian Paralympic fans were able to take in nearly 150 hours of television coverage from Beijing — there was also live streaming on multiple platforms of all five sports — alpine skiing, hockey, Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross-country), snowboard and wheelchair curling.

At the Tokyo Paralympics, 128 Canadian athletes won 21 medals in the summer of 2021.

Bringing the Games to more Canadians

Danielle Dorris was a part of Team Canada in Tokyo and won a gold and silver medal during the swimming event. She set a new world record to win her first Paralympic gold medal in the S7 50-m fly event.

"I don't like talking about myself but when people realize who I am and come up and talk to me it's incredible to know that I've given Moncton a name and I'm bringing a small town onto the map."

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The 20-year-old from New Brunswick is thrilled CBC/Radio-Canada is taking on a larger role in bringing the Games to Canadians in the summer of 2024 in Paris.

"It's great. We don't have that much coverage so having a partnership with a broadcaster like CBC is fantastic, especially for the next couple of Games. I'm excited because I'm young and I'll get to go to more of those Games," Dorris told CBC Sports.

"The plan in Paris is to better my own time. If a medal comes out of it, a medal comes out of it. But the plan is to make that world record harder to beat."

Heidi Peters was also competing for Canada at the Tokyo Paralympics. She helped the Canadians to a fourth-place finish in sitting volleyball.

'We want more coverage'

Peters was also part of the team that finished second at the sitting volleyball world championships last year, the best performance in the program's history.

She's thrilled her sport is going to be showcased across the country on the national broadcaster's platforms.

"It's really exciting. It's a big step forward. The centrality of the message is there. Having CBC involved in the process is so important," she said.

"Having that continuity is key. We're parallel. We're saying we want more coverage."

Peters is passionate about the Paralympic movement and says it should be of equal scale to the Olympics — she says visibility and representation can be life-saving.

"Mental health and lives are at stake. For people who acquire disabilities later in life that can be a really isolating experience. To turn on a TV or Instagram and see us, it makes dreams come true. It really saves lives. I was devastated when I couldn't play volleyball at the level I wanted to anymore," she said.

"For me Paralympic sport, high performance sport, instilled a whole new level of confidence and self-worth. I have a choice to respond to life with courage and resilience in the most extreme form of being a Paralympian. That visibility saves lives."