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British Paralympic Cyclist Launches Crowdfunding Appeal For Her Event To Be Televised

Karen Darke's sport is among those at Rio not being covered live due to budget cuts.

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The Paralympic Games are facing a funding crisis, with just 12% of tickets sold and warnings of major budget cuts.

As a result only half of the sports will be covered live when the competition begins in September.

“Never before in the 56-year history of the Paralympic Games have we faced circumstances like this," said Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, on Friday.

British hand-cyclist Karen Darke won silver in London four years ago, and she has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for flights to Rio and accommodation for a film crew to ensure her sport is televised.

“I am passionate about the positive impact that cycling can have for everyone, but particularly with a disability where your mobility is perhaps limited in some way,” wrote Darke, seen training in Mallorca in the video below.

Verifeye Media/Al Aire Films

The 45-year-old added: “I really want to show some of the ‘behind-the-scenes stories’ of para-cyclists in Rio, many of whom I know have come through great personal challenges to be there competing.

"Therefore I invited Lina and Luis from Al Aire Films to accompany me to Rio to make a film that shows the emotions, good-feelings (and challenges!) that para-cycling generates.”


On Sunday night the fundraising page hit 200% of its target, meaning filmmakers will be accompanying Darke to Rio.

The ParalympicsGB star and the film crew are said to be "thrilled" by the response to the crowdfunding appeal, and thanked everyone who backed it.

Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Champion at

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