Canada’s Patrick Jarvis running for president of International Paralympic Committee

Patrick Jarvis believed he had met all of the criteria in the tournament to run the 1,500 and 800 metres for Canada at the 1988 Paralympic Games.

He had been advised, however, that Canada’s track team heading to Seoul was all but decided six months prior to the championship.

Jarvis’s anger pushed him into a life of Paralympic sport stewardship. The 59-year-old from Morrin, Alta., is running for president of the International Paralympic Committee.

The election to choose a successor to Sir Philip Craven of Britain is Friday in Abu Dhabi.

While Jarvis ran middle distances at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, the frustration the arm amputee felt in ’88 made it clear to him that sport for the handicapped had to be run more professionally and equitably.

“Call it my Scottish or Irish blood, it didn’t sit well,” Jarvis told The Canadian Press from Abu Dhabi.

“I told the person his volunteer role as president of Canadian amputee sports had been performed or could be soon.”

A successful bid would make Jarvis the 2nd Canadian in the IPC’s helm. Edmonton’s Robert Steadward was the first president from 1989 to 2001. Steadward’s successor was Craven who is stepping down after 16 years.

The other candidates running for IPC president are Brazil’s Andrew Parsons, Denmark’s John Petersson and China’s Haidi Zang.

All candidates made their presentations Wednesday in the IPC Congress.

“My plan is to reach the next round,” Jarvis said. “The other three candidates have focused regions of support. I do not. Mine is more of a worldwide quilt where I’ve pockets of support in various areas.

“If I could get through to the second round and let us say the Asian European or candidate candidate drops off, I believe I’d actually pull a substantial amount of votes into my camp{}”

Currently the executive director of Canada Snowboard, Jarvis was president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee from 1998 to 2006 and was the Canadian team’s chef de mission in Nagano, Japan, in ’98.

He is a 12-year member of the IPC and has served on its board for two terms. His Twitter effort hashtag is “#moreispossible”.

“I believe I can bring another culture to the motion,” Jarvis said. “The former president, Phil Craven, had a very powerful drive and vision of making it a worldwide movement and making it simpler for the athletes, more competitions.

“I’d be less about growth concerning competitions, events and awards. My growth will be around successful, respectful business processes.”

The profile of Paralympic sport has improved in recent decades.

Via television, radio and internet coverage, the IPC claims the 2016 Rio Games attained 154 countries, compared to 115 in 2012, for a total of 3.8 billion viewers.

The IPC emerged as a sports organization with teeth last year when it banned Russia from competing at the Rio Paralympics due to widespread allegations of state-sponsored doping.

That difficult stance contrasted with the International Olympic Committee’s decision to depart sanctions up to international sports federations.

With corruption scandals rocking international sports federations and the IOC, Jarvis says the IPC must safeguard the social capital it’s assembled and be viewed by the public as a sports organization with integrity.

“It begins with the athletic performances, but they also understand the absence of corruption many foreign federations right are now festooned with,” Jarvis said.

“I think with this public hope there is ‘OK, this is a company which appears to do things nicely appropriately.’ “We will need to continue to ensure we’re extremely diligent on anti-doping we will need to constantly enhance our classifications, but we will need to ensure we employ and hold ourselves to the highest standard constantly.”

The IPC announced Wednesday that Russian athletes competing as “neutrals” will be permitted to take part in qualifying events this winter. But Russia must still fulfil seven standards before the IPC will lift the ban for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The criteria includes embracing WADA’s findings, reforming the federal drug-testing agency and altering how Russian Paralympic sport is handled.

“They’re working together with our task force, they’re doing what they could, the deadline they are not meeting as quickly as anyone would like,” Jarvis explained.

“As a safety valve, let us give them a chance to compete in the qualification events and book the right that if we do not see progress, then those qualification events do not matter because they will still be under suspension{}”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail