PARIS — The Paris 2024 Olympics Organizing Committee — which will organize the next Olympic and Paralympic Games — on Aug. 31 submitted an official proposal to the Unicode Consortium requesting the addition of four Para sports emojis to this now-universal language.

The initiative, supported by the International Paralympic Committee, French National Paralympic Committee, and numerous French and international Olympians and Paralympians, seeks to increase the representation and inclusion of people with disabilities through sport.

“There are currently nearly 3,000 emojis out there, available for millions of people to use as they wish each day,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

“Emojis form a universal language understood throughout the world. Yet, Paralympic sport is not represented in this format; there are no emojis to reflect the incredible feats and amazing performances of Paralympic athletes.”

The committee said with support from the International Paralympic Committee and the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, Paris 2024 is working on getting emojis representing Paralympic sports added to the official library, thereby helping to achieve a fairer representation of diversity in sport.

A proposal for the addition of four Para sports — Blind Football, Para Athletics, Para-Swimming, and Wheelchair Tennis — was submitted to the Unicode Consortium on Aug. 31, the final day for submissions in 2021.

It comes midway through the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“On Dec. 3, 2020, the organizing committee of Paris 2024 Olympic Games pledged to submit a proposal for Paralympic emojis to the Unicode Consortium, the body that decides on the adoption of new emoji,” the committee said.

“On Aug. 31, 2021, the proposal has been submitted. With Para Emojis 2024, we hope that everyone will be able to use Paralympic emojis on their phones for Paris 2024!”

The proposal aims to give Para sport athletes the visibility and recognition they deserve while raising awareness to drive further change in attitudes towards disability.

“Paris 2024 is convinced that sport can be a powerful driver of social inclusion, self-acceptance, and openness to others,” said Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee.

“It’s crucial that our incredible champions with disabilities are represented in this universal language.”

The emoji project reflects Paris 2024’s commitment to bring the same level of ambition to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the same spectacular venues and, for the first time, a familiar emblem across both Games.

“I congratulate Paris 2024 on this fantastic initiative,” said Le Fur, President of the French National Paralympic Committee and a Tokyo 2020 silver medallist in Long Jump (T64).

“Emojis really are a reflection of society and have become a wholly universal language, used by millions of people worldwide. Hopefully, Para sports will soon have their own digital identity, which is so much more important than we might think.”

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari

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