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IBSA’s president speech for the 2023 IBSA World Games opening ceremony

Date: August 18, 2023

Category: General

Speech of the president of IBSA – International Blind Sports Federation, Ilgar Rahimov, in the opening ceremony of the 2023 IBSA World Games at the Symphony Hall of Birmingham:

Athletes of our IBSA family welcome to these our Seventh World Games here in Birmingham. The coming days are days for you to shine. Days for you to show the world your potential and for each one of you to realize the results of all your preparation and sacrifices.

These past four years have not been the best for you in terms of opportunities and events to perform because of the global pandemic. But here in Birmingham I promise you you will witness a new beginning. A new beginning for these World Games under the leadership of a new Executive Board determined to make this event for the future reach even more aspiring visually impaired athletes around the world.

In the coming days you, our IBSA athletes will take to the sports stage across the West Midlands. 1200 opportunities for the world to be amazed at your performances and to discover that sport for those with a visual impairment is indeed top sport.

And remember that the three Paralympic sports of goalball, football and judo are also qualification events for places at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

I am grateful to British Blind Sport, the Local Organizing Committee, and partners for all their efforts to deliver this event to such a high standard given the personal, economic, world and domestic challenges that exist.

However, I have absolute confidence that you, the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands will demonstrate your love of top sport by your attendances and do your very best to guarantee full stadia. You showed that love in 2022 during one of the best Commonwealth Games ever. Please let us have a repeat of those crowds in the coming days to be inspired by the performances of OUR athletes, but without the Bull this time!

Athletes it’s your time. Go from here and show the world that there are no barriers to high performance in sport given the chance as the world will see here in Birmingham in the coming days.

I wish you every success

#Accessibility – Mr. Ilgar Rahimov, IBSA’s president of the Board, deliver his speech in the pulpit’s stage of the Symphony Hall of Birmingham

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