In early August 2008, President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, made a statement about the meaning of the Olympic flag, “It belongs to everyone… It’s one of the most striking and important symbols…It’s an expression of universality and brotherhood of the world.” The Olympic flag is said to be for all of humanity, even persons with disabilities. If this is so, then why is the Paralympic Games a separate set of games from the Olympics? Why not combine them into one Olympic Movement with one Olympic symbol?
The Paralympics designed their own flag emblem and the International Olympic Committee stated that if they wanted to use the symbol for marketing purposes they would have to redesign it because it too closely resembled the Olympic symbol. If all athletes are of equal status, then why isn’t there one symbol or flag to represent them all? Why is it necessary to establish a difference among athletes working to achieve the same goal?
The Paralympic Games take place the same year and in the same venue as, although beginning shortly after, the finish of the Olympic Games. The idea that one set of games runs parallel to another might be viewed as one being less respected than the other. Does separate but equal actually infer not equal?
If they’re both Olympic Games for athletes, why not simply use the same symbol?