By Tom Degun

George Hamilton_19_MayMay 31 - George Hamilton, vice-president of Olympic Operations at Dow Chemical Company, has revealed that the Paralympic Games is hugely important and an event his organisation may become more involved with in the future.

Dow became a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 2010 in a deal that afforded it the rights to be involved with both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Dow's involvement in the Games has been marred by protests against it due to its ownership of US chemical firm Union Carbide, whose Bhopal plant in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh leaked toxic gases in 1984 (pictured below, the plant in the background), killing a reported 3,000-plus people in what is regarded as one of the world's worst industrial accidents.

Dow bought the company several years after the accident and insisted that, despite what protesters say, the organisation is committed to helping people.

Dow logo_19_May"Dow has a very strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and so many different programmes in those areas that it would take too long to discuss," Hamilton (pictured top) told insidethegames.

"So the Paralympics is a great way for us to reinforce that commitment to our employees and to demonstrate how Dow is contributing to making the world better for people with an impairment.

"We are already engaged with Sochi [2014] about what they are trying to accomplish with their [Winter] Paralympic programme, and if it is the right fit we will do it.

"But we are still very early in our Olympic journey given that we haven't been at it for two years yet.

"We are trying to learn and digest before we seriously go out there to look at what we do next.

"But the Paralympics is at the top of the list in terms of what we care about and we looking closely at it moving forward."

Hamilton also explained that Dow has been involved in disability sport before, and that it understands the Paralympic Movement's autonomy from the Olympic Movement requires a different approach.

"Last summer, we sponsored the Special Olympics in Athens, which a lot of people think are under the same umbrella," he said.

"Obviously they are not.

"The Olympics, the Paralympics, the Special Olympics: they are all unique and give us different decisions to make in terms of how we get involved and contribute."

To read the full interview with George Hamilton, click here

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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