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UK TV network Channel 4 sends list of fully disabled entertainers and experts to Beijing Paralympics

By Toyin Owoseje, CNN

British broadcaster Channel 4 has announced that its coverage of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be led by a team made up entirely of presenters and experts with disabilities.

In what he described as a “world first” for a world-class sporting event, the network’s programming will include former champions who will take to the field in China when the games begin next month.

A daily highlights show will be led by Ade Adepitan, an award-winning host and wheelchair basketball player, Channel 4 said in a press release on Monday.

Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman will host the breakfast alongside quadriplegic former professional rugby player Ed Jackson.

Steadman won a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and also won silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio.

The roster also includes recently retired Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, who won gold at the Rio Games in 2016 aged just 15. She will be joined by British racing driver Billy Monger.

Former sit-skier Sean Rose has been brought in as pundit, and Channel 4’s nighttime sports coverage will be led by Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams.

Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programmes, said in a statement that the decision is a testament to the brilliant disabled presenting talent we have in the UK and underlines our commitment to providing opportunities for people with disabilities and making our production truly representative. from the whole. population.”

Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), hailed the channel as “a leading organization in the field of disability inclusion” which had “improved the landscape of Paralympic sports broadcasting”.

He added: “This latest landmark decision is important because representation matters. There are over 15% disabled people in Britain and they should be able to turn on a television and see ordinary disabled people like themselves on camera wonderfully. It’s a change that starts with sport.

The Paralympic Games in Beijing will take place from March 4 to 13.

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