Paralympic chief pays tribute to Hawking

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The President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Andrew Parsons has paid a special tribute to Stephen Hawking.

The world-renowned British scientist passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday at the age of 76.

Hawking broke new ground with his work involving black holes and relativity.

Having being diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease aged 22, he also changed perceptions of what the limitations of living with disability could be.

Parsons said, “Professor Stephen Hawking was an extraordinary man and a pioneer for all people with an impairment around the world. He embodied the word ability more than anyone.”

Hawking at London 2012

Hawking took part in the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympics, getting the event underway with a very special ‘Big Bang’.

Speaking with his customary, American-accented voice computer, he said that the Paralympics were about “transforming our perceptions of the world. We are all different, there is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being.”

In his statement, Parsons echoed that sentiment, saying; “In the Paralympic Movement we always say that Para athletes see challenges as opportunities to do things differently.”

The IPC President continued, “Although not a Para athlete, Hawking did just that, finding innovative solutions to overcome his disability and continue his ground breaking work as a world-leading physicist.”

“He said the Paralympic Games transform people’s perceptions of the world, and thanks to his inspirational work we know far more about the world that we live today.”

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Author: Stephen Hannon
Stephen Hannon is the Head of News at Olympic Channel, the digital platform launched by the IOC.