The slogan is intended to be striking. It’s about making an impression, making an impression on the retina of the general public one hundred days before the start of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games (from August 28 to September 8). “I miss nothing except you,” proclaims the promotional campaign launched Monday May 20 by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop). The formula is embodied by para-athletes Arnaud Assoumani (athletics), Pauline Déroulède (wheelchair tennis) and Gaël Rivière (blind football), visible – their disability in evidence – on the hundreds of posters which will be installed on Parisian buses and metro .

The campaign is also available in the form of a manifesto and three very short video clips (around ten seconds) with each of the three para-athletes mentioned. “We want disability to be visible, to shine on the screen,” explains Julie Matikhine, director of the Paris 2024 brand. She interprets the campaign slogan as a call, even “a simple and effective injunction” launched to the general public, who “are not sufficient consumers of Paralympic sports”. “Athletes need you,” she enthused.

Because for the moment, the Paralympic Games do not arouse popular enthusiasm. Only a third of the 2.8 million tickets put on sale found takers, compared to more than 80% for the Olympic ticket office. Paris 2024 does not say it is worried. Some sessions, such as armchair fencing or para-riding events, are already sold out. And then London 2012 had not sold to date 900,000 to one million Paralympic tickets out of 2.7 million in total, and achieved 40% of its sales after the start of the Olympic fortnight, argues Cojop.

“The magic is happening”

It prevents. One hundred days before the opening ceremony at Place de la Concorde, the organizers and public authorities are calling for “general mobilization”. “We must promote very widely” an event that they have been trying for months to present as “the return match of the Olympics”. There is no question of straining the fragile budgetary balance of the Games, argues the Ministry of Sports, for which Paralympic ticketing is one of the last areas of concern along with security, particularly private security.

Furthermore, and even if the Paralympic Games will never have benefited from as much audiovisual coverage as in Paris – three hundred hours of live broadcast by France Télévisions – the visibility and media coverage of the ten days of competition and the Paralympics qualified athletes remain a major challenge for organizers. Who can, today, name the names of five stars of French and international Paralympism?

Elie Patrigeon is banking on the momentum generated by the lighting of the Olympic flame in Marseille on May 8. “The magic of the Games is happening. We have a hundred days left to transform the excitement [for the Paralympics] into popular fervor, wants to believe the director general of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, who is acting as sales representative for the ticketing of the Games. There are several days when we potentially expect ten to fifteen French medals! »