Welcome to the London Paralympics 2012!
When you are traveling to London for the Paralympics do try & visit Ireland either before or after the Paralympics. For those with Irish roots there are very special reasons to visit the Emerald Isle .We guarantee you will have the trip of a lifetime!
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012
29 August – 9 Sept 2012
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will run from Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 9 September, and they will be the second largest multi-sport event in the world.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games are being planned together with the Olympic Games and will be something very special. They will leave a memorable Paralympic sports legacy. The London Paralympic 2012 Games will be a huge festival of sport with the whole of the world watching events such as Boccia, Goalball, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Rugby.
The Paralympics in London in 2012 will be the 14th Games dedicated to athletes with physical disabilities
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 HISTORY
The Paralympics have come a long way from their humble origins as a rehabilitation programme for British war veterans with spinal injuries.
In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttman, a neurologist who was working with World War II veterans with spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, began using sport as part of the rehabilitation programmes of his patients. Stoke Mandeville can therefore be considered as the starting point for the now world famous Paralympic Games.
Sir Ludwig Guttman set up a competition with other hospitals to coincide with the London Olympics in that year.
For the next ten years, Guttman's care plan was adopted by other spinal injury units in Britain and competition grew.
In 1960, the Olympics were held in Rome, and Guttmann brought 400 wheelchair athletes to the Olympic city to compete. This was the birth of the modern Parallel Olympics or, the Paralympics, as they are now known.
It is all a long way from the humble beginnings in Stoke Mandeville.
Every Olympic and Paralympic contestant is an inspiration to all of us. It is not possible to name all but you can read about the awe-inspiring performances of most of the Paralympians on line.
If you have a favourite Paralympian from any country which you would like to have added to this list, please email their name, nationality and sport to the contact details on this website.
To name but a very few, some inspirations are as follows:
Dame Tanni Grey Thompson - UK - Wheelchair Racing
Bob Matthews - UK - Marathon Running
Margaret Maughan - UK - Britain's first ever Paralympian gold medalist - Archery
John Harris - UK- Discus, Pentathlon
Jason Regier - USA - Cycling
Robin Theryoung - USA -Goalball
Ken Armbruster - USA -Goalball
Nathalie Du Toit - South Africa - Swimming
Natalia Partyka - Poland - Tennis
Dave Roberts - UK - Swimming
Mike Kenny - UK - Swimming
Shelly Woods - UK - Wheelchair Racing
Ade Adepitan - UK - Wheelchair basketball
Trischa Zorn - USA - Swimming
Esther Vergeer - Holland - Wheelchair Racing
Liz Johnson - UK - Swimming
Eleanor Simmons - UK (at 13 became Britain's youngest Paralympian gold medalist) Swimming
Darren Kenny - UK - Cycling
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 BID TO HOLD THE GAMES
On July 6 2005 at 12:46pm UK time, Jacques Rogge stood in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) General Assembly in Singapore and announced: 'the Games of the XXXth Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of..........London.'
This announcement was greeted with delight by the London delegation in Singapore, the huge crowd of 30,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square and at events all over the country. This was the result of three years' hard work by a dedicated bid team supported by millions of people around the UK.
The Right Honourable Sebastian Coe, OBE, headed London's successful bid to host the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. Lord Coe is a British athlete and Conservative Party politician. London's bid was not initially the favourite but a complete overhaul of the transport strategy and a huge surge in public support helped in the turnaround.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 COMMITTEE
The London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is responsible for preparing and staging both the London 2012 Olympic and the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It is the first Organising Committee to integrate planning for the Games in this way.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the public body responsible for developing and building the venues and infrastructure for London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The Olympic Board - made up of representatives of 2012 stakeholders, the Mayor of London, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, The Nations and Regions Group as well as International and UK partners are also involved in the planning preparation and organisation of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 FINANCES
It has been estimated that the total cost for the London 2012 Paralympics and the London 2012 Olympics will be more than £9bn. Creating the Olympic venues and making sure the right infrastructures are in place for the Games will primarily be funded by public money - taxes. The Games themselves will be funded mainly by the private sector.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 LOGO
This is the first time that the same logo will be used for both the London 2012 Olympic and the London 2012 Paralympics.
The aim is to set new standards on and off the track, and be a catalyst for continued change for public attitudes towards disability. The use of the same core emblem for both the London 2012 Olympic Games and London 2012 Paralympic Games is part of this process.
Olympic and Paralympic logos are centered around the same core emblem. The jagged emblem, based on the date 2012, comes in a series of shades of pink, blue, green and orange and will evolve in the run-up to the Games.
The word London and the Olympic rings are included in the first two digits of the new logo.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 PREPARATIONS
Preparation and planning for the London 2012 Olympic Games and London 2012 Paralympic Games are now well under way. T he handover from Beijing and the countdown to London 2012 Paralympics started with a special day of activities with
at least 50 veteran Paralympians attended the celebrations, including Britain's first ever gold medalist Margaret Maughan.
Preparations for both are integrated for the first time for a Summer Games, providing an outstanding sporting experience for athletes from all backgrounds and a memorable legacy for Paralympic sport in the UK.
The aims of the London 2012 Paralympic Games were very aptly summed up by The Chairman of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Lord Coe when he said "we want to set new standards on and off the track, and be a catalyst for continued change for public attitudes towards disability"
Tanni Grey Thompson, Britain's greatest Paralympian said: 'In five years time London will be buzzing with excitement about the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. London will put on a great event, and also ensure that a lasting sporting legacy is left for people with a disability. I want the London 2012 Paralympic Games to be a catalyst for a change in people's attitudes about disability. This is not just about a two week period of time; it is about a whole culture change to inspire people.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will make use of the high levels of accessibility to London's public transport systems, including the Jubilee underground tube line from the City to Stratford and the important Docklands Light Railway which will service the Olympic and Paralympic Park and which are 100% accessible.
In addition, all public buses in London will be fully accessible by the end of 2005 while all 21,000 of London's famous Black Cabs are totally accessible to people who use wheelchairs.
Good public transport links already exist in London but more effort is being exerted to ensure the spectators get to the venues in time and in comfort. London's public transport infrastructure will be expanded by the extension of the London Underground's East London line. There will also be a number of upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).
There are also plans to create a high speed shuttle train service. This will be called "the Olympic Javelin" and will take passengers from St Pancras International -where the EuroStar is based - to the Olympic Park. A number of park and ride sites will also be made available around the M25 (motorway circling Greater London) with low emission vehicles being used as transport.
"By 2012 there will be a total of ten public transport lines feeding into Stratford, representing the capability of a train arriving in the area every 15 seconds."
Since winning the bid, a lot has been done to ensure the London Paralympics 2012 Games become a spectacular sporting, social and cultural event. Lord Coe will turn himself into an art work by taking part in Martin Creed's installation at Tate Britain, which involves a series of athletes sprinting the length of the hall.
This stunt will kick start the Cultural Olympiad. This is a four-year arts programme celebrating Britain's creative talents in the run-up to the London Games.
Professional guides can take you on a visit to the Olympic/Paralympic sites to chart the progress of the regeneration of parts of east London and the creation of the new Olympic area and corresponding locations.
All Paralympic athletes will be housed within the Athletes' Village set within the Olympic Park which has been designed to be fully accessible and will be built to the national 'Life Times Home' standard. The village is an example of the very best of inclusive design.
Paralympic sailors and rowers will have accommodation close to their competition venues in Weymouth and Eton Dorney but will also have a bed available within the village if required
The bulk of London's Paralympic competition venues are set in two zones - the Olympic Park Zone and the River Zone. The two zones are within 15 minutes of each other, leading to one of the most compact Games ever, minimising travel times and disruption for Paralympians.
The Olympic Park will contain the main Athletics stadium, where the Athletics and opening and closing ceremonies will take place;
The Hockey Centre will host Seven-a-side and Five-a-side Football.
The Velopark will host Track Cycling.
In the north of the Park at Eton Manor will be the Archery and Wheelchair Tennis venue, which will be converted post-Games into a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor tennis centre.
Three indoor arenas will host Wheelchair Rugby, Goalball, Wheelchair Basketball, Judo, and Wheelchair Fencing.
The Aquatics Centre will host Swimming.
The Athletes' Village is also set within the Park, as are the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre.
The Greenwich temporary arena will host Sitting Volleyball, and Greenwich Park will host Equestrian events, providing a stunning backdrop.
ExCeL will host Boccia, Powerlifting, Wheelchair Basketball and Table Tennis.
The Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich will host Shooting.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 BENEFITS TO BRITAIN
The Mayor of London believes the London 2012 Olympics and the London 2012 Paralympics Games will have far-reaching benefits for London and Londoners, as well as the rest of the UK, creating jobs, attracting visitors and providing inspiration.
Lord Coe said "It's just the most fantastic opportunity to do everything we always dreamed of in British sport. We can change the face of sport in the next seven years and beyond.
British interest in sport is being ignited and will lead to enormous numbers of young people honing in on sporting activities.
For cities, the London Olympics 2012 games represent an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent themselves in buildings, events and social innovations.
The London Olympics in 2012 also represent a huge opportunity to showcase Britain to the world and to boost the country's tourism industry before, during and after the games.
VisitBritain predicts that 50-70% of the net economic benefit of the London Olympics will come through hospitality and tourism over 7-10 years.
Estimates seem to show that £2b could be generated and that almost two-thirds of this growth will happen in the four years after the games.
Many of the new facilities will be reused. This will be part of the regeneration of Stratford and Lower Lea Valley in east London. After the games, the Olympic Village, where athletes and officials will stay during the London 2012 Olympics, will be converted into homes. It is the aim to make many of these homes available for key workers such as teachers and nurses.
Together with the new homes in the Olympic Village, there will be further housing built on the Olympic Park site after the Games, creating a total of over 9,000 new homes.
A legacy of the London 2012 Olympics will be that after the games, the Olympic Park will be transformed into the largest urban park created in Europe for more than 150 years .
Riverside housing, shops, restaurants and cafes will provide new amenities for the local community.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 INTERESTING STATISTICS
The following statistics are approximations:
- Number of sports - 20
- Number of Athletes - 4,500
- Number of journalists to cover the event - 20,000
- Number of countries represented - 200
- Number of officials involved in staging the Paralympic games- 2,300
- Number of tickets expected to be sold - 1.5 million
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 TICKETS
Tickets for both events will go on sale from 2011 and, subject to availability, remain on sale until the start of every event.
Details of how to purchase tickets will be announced nearer the time.
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 ACCOMMODATION
If you are looking for accommodation in 2012, check out www.city-of-london.com
LONDON PARALYMPICS 2012 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
London 2012 may have been a surprise, but somehow it feels right. Here's to the best Paralympics ever.