The British Paralympic Committee welcomed the decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to let Russian and Belarusian athletes compete in Beijing.
“We don’t feel it is appropriate for Russian or Belarusian athletes to compete in the Olympics. Given the dire situation in Ukraine, it feels inappropriate for these athletes to compete in the Paralympics,” said Phil Smith, Chef de Mission for the British Paralympics in Beijing.
The organizers of the Winter Paralympics reversed their initial decision this Thursday (3/3) as the threat of withdrawal and hostility escalated in Athletes Village.
This comes less than 24 hours after the IPC initially announced it would allow Russia and Belarus to compete when the Paralympics opened Friday (4/3), but only as neutral athletes where flags and other national symbols had to be removed due to the invasion of Ukraine. .
Smith said, “They understood what was told after that initial decision, and then made the decision we thought was right.” [em/jm]