The Paralympic Games – 10 need-to-know facts
Just as the nation settles back into the groove of normality, the dust having finally settled after the monumental party that was the Olympic closing ceremony, London is back at the cusp of global sporting occasion once again.
Yes, we are talking about the Paralympic Games – set to numb those Olympic withdrawal symptoms, this is going to be a spectacle like no other because for the first time ever, The International Paralympic Commitee is “hopeful London 2012 will be the first sellout in the Games’ 52-year history.”
It’s testament to the people of Britain that ticket organisers have seen such relentless demand from people across the land vying for a piece of the action as “more than 2.1 million of 2.5 million tickets have been sold – 600,000 in the past month.”
So, whether you’ve bagged tickets or you’re staying put in your armchair, we’ve put together some awesome statistics to get you in the mood (as if you weren’t already).
- Taking part in the Paralympic Games will be 4,200 competitors from 147 nations taking part in 21 sports.
- The Paralympic Flame will begin as four separate flames, lit in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff over the August Bank Holiday weekend, starting on 24th in London.
- Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Roberts are Britain’s most successful Paralympians. Both have won 11 gold medals each.
- In the last three Paralympic Games (Beijing 2008, Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000) Paralympics GB has never finished lower than second onn the medal table.
- The Paralympic Games are the world’s second largest sports event after the Olympic Games
- There are some very unusual sports at the Paralympic Games, including, Boccia - a game very similar to French ‘boules’, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy.
- The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome, a week after the 1960 Summer Olympic Games were held there. 400 athletes with spinal cord injuries from 23 countries competed in eight sports, including snooker, fencing, field events, basketball, swimming, table tennis, archery and the pentathlon.
- The word ‘paralympic’ comes from the prefix ‘para’, which means beside, and the whole word ‘Olympic’.
- Paralympian Trischa Zorn is the most decorated competitor in the history of the Games. From 1980 to 2004 she won a total of 55 medals, 41 of which are gold, in blind swimming events.
- Finally, we’re proud to remind everyone that East Village has a total of 240 homes built for wheelchair use – that’s a total of 8% of our homes.