By Nick Butler

Sir Philip Craven believes Pyeongchang 2018 can build upon the success of Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesPyeongchang 2018 has the potential to surpass the success of Sochi 2014, especially if the host nation enjoy a strong performance on the medals table, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven has claimed.

Speaking during the Sochi 2014 debrief in the South Korean city due to host the next edition of the Winter Paralympics, Sir Philip stressed the need for home athletes to perform well in order to generate the same popular support seen in Russia.

Russia dominated the standings in Sochi, winning  a total of 80 medals, of which 30 were gold, to finish a massive 65 medals clear of second placed Germany. 

In comparison, although South Korea have enjoyed much success at Summer Paralympics, they did not win a single medal in Sochi and only managed a solitary wheelchair curling silver four years earlier in Vancouver. 

"Pyeongchang has the potential to deliver the best sporting competition ever in 2018 however this will only happen if some of the medallists come from the host nation." Sir Philip said.

"It would be a tragedy for us all if the Korean team failed to win a medal in 2018, like they did in Sochi.

"A successful home team is essential as it creates a really strong feel good factor across the whole country, makes athletes household names and generates far more reasons for domestic media and broadcasters to cover the Games."

Sir Philip oversees the handing over of the Paralympic Flag to the Mayor of Pyeongchang during the Closing Ceremony of Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesSir Philip oversees the handing over of the Paralympic Flag to the Mayor of Pyeongchang during the Closing Ceremony of Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

Sir Philip, IPC President since 2001, also expects the standard to be even higher in four years time than it was in Sochi, with many more young athletes projected to breakthrough well before 2018.

"Looking at the age range of athletes who competed in Sochi there was so much young talent," he said.

"For example, in Alpine skiing, nearly half of all gold medallists were aged 23 or under."

Organisational competence was also stressed as an another important factor essential to a successful Games, with teamwork cited as something particularly important.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games debrief, which continues today, will provide a good opportunity to hone these skills, with a focus on the three streams of Paralympic Games clients, delivery and product.

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