Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee, talks about leading the Paralympic Movement through crises and how his leadership style has been inspired by Paralympians. In this episode, he reveals how his career progressed from intern to President of one of the most important sporting movements on the planet. Parsons, who became IPC President in 2017 after overseeing the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, discusses the trials and tribulations of Rio 2016, being welcomed onto the podium by his friend and Brazilian athlete Daniel Dias and the power and importance of being a strong leader. “My leadership style is I see myself as a server. I serve the Movement, the Paralympic athletes. We need to serve them and the President is just the first server. If you have the right team around you and the right purpose, we can overcome all situations and challenges.” Key leadership skills are discussed such as problem solving, having a clear vision and focusing on things he can change. He also speaks in depth on the importance of his role in changing perceptions of persons with disabilities and the opportunities they have in life. “One of the things we want to have an impact on is having more persons with disabilities working as employees, owners of businesses, bosses, as it happened after London 2012. There are one million more people with disabilities working because of that Games, and employment means citizenship. Diversity should be something that is valued, not only tolerated and respected. The beauty of the world is that we are all different.” He also discusses the plans for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games following their rearrangement and Netflix’s incredible new film, Rising Phoenix, which charts the growth of the Games and the athletes who make it one of the greatest sporting spectacles globally. Learning topics for this episode include crisis leadership, inclusive leadership, servant leadership, organizational leadership, team leadership and global leadership. A Winning Mindset: Lessons from the Paralympics, is the brand new podcast from the International Paralympic Committee and Allianz. It tells the Paralympic stories that will change the way you look at the world and provide you with some hints and tips to benefit your own mindset and behaviours.
Greece’s Paralympic boccia athlete Greg Polychronidis' story of overcoming failures, from being on the brink of quitting his career to becoming the leading athlete in the world.
Greg Polychronidis opens up on his life, from being born with spinal muscular atrophy in Athens to becoming the leading Greek Paralympian, a gold medal winner and a flag bearer for his nation at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. It’s a story of overcoming losses, inside and outside of sport, and Polychronidis’ experiences and life stories can provide a lesson for all of us on how to win, lose and overdefy the odds. “I don’t believe there is a person in the world who hasn’t had disappointments and failure. The important thing is how to overcome this. The most important is to find your mistake in order to become stronger and not make the same mistakes. We must become stronger from each failure in life and we must appreciate when we succeed. If we do not fail, we will never know the meaning of success. Because to feel success, we must have felt the pain of the failure.” He talks about sport, setbacks and love, particularly the love he has for his wife Katerina. The two discuss her role as his sport assistant and what that entails, as well as a love that has often been blighted by cynicism, racism and negative attitudes from those around them.A Winning Mindset: Lessons from the Paralympics, is the brand new podcast from the International Paralympic Committee and Allianz. It tells the Paralympic stories that will change the way you look at the world.
USA’s Paralympic multi-medallist Tatyana McFadden tells her story from scooting around her orphanage in St Petersburg, to changing legislation in the USA to allow equal opportunities to sport for kids with disabilities as well as her sporting career spanning four summer and one winter Paralympic Games. As well as reliving many Paralympic stories, McFadden talks about how she is driven by a purpose that goes beyond winning medals. "I had to fight to be allowed to train. I was denied the right to run alongside other athletes and I thought 'this is not how it should be'. We're setting the stage of teaching people it's okay to discriminate people with a disability. So I wanted to do something about it. So I sued for no money, no damages, but the right for the opportunity to participate in high school sports. It was the hardest battle as a high schooler to go through for four years." She also talks about why telling the Paralympic story in Netflix’s Rising Phoenix was so important to her, and how they broke new boundaries in film-making by ensure that 16% of the people working on the film had a disability.
In the first episode of A Winning Mindset, Jonnie Peacock, Great Britain’s double Paralympic 100m champion sits down with Andy Stevenson to recap his life and career as one of the world’s most famous Paralympians. He talks about growing up with one leg after contracting meningitis, the importance of family, his two gold medals, and how he wanted to change perceptions about disability by appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.
Peacock talks about what drives him and the importance of the relationship with his mum in motivating him. He explains the role of expectations and how he has defied expectations to achieve his goals.
The star of London 2012 also reveals the nerve-wracking seconds before winning gold at his home Paralympics. “I remember they walked us out like gladiators and I’d never heard a noise like it.”
From home glory to his Rio 2016 gold medal, Peacock was elevated to new heights and in this episode, he speaks of how his rise led him all the way to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, becoming the first person with a disability to compete on the show. “I wanted to be the first disabled person on there but not to have people talk about it. I didn’t want that to be the reason they voted for me.”
Peacock stars in the powerful new Netflix film about the Paralympic Games called Rising Phoenix, which debuts on Wednesday 26 August. The film, which stars Prince Harry alongside Peacock, and other Paralympic athletes like Bebe Vio, Tatyana McFadden and more, charts the rise of the Games and the individuals who make it. “That film blew me away.”
Peacock also talks about how the Paralympics are changing perceptions about disability. He talks about the importance of inclusion, and how as a young kid, he wanted to play football with his mates, not get involved with disability sport.
Peacock also discusses how the postponement of Tokyo 2020 due to Covid-19 has affected him, whether his career will continue to Paris 2024 and what the future holds for himself and the Paralympic Movement as a whole. We also ask the big question: could we see him in the 200m at one point?
A Winning Mindset: Lessons from the Paralympics, is the brand new podcast from the International Paralympic Committee and Allianz. It tells the Paralympic stories that will change the way you look at the world.