For the past few weeks the world has been swept up in Olympics fever. It’s been an absolutely stellar summer for sports fans, with the extravaganza that has been London 2012 coming so soon after the European Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine finished. There’s no let up now, either; the new Premiership season starts on Saturday 18th August. And of course, there’s the Paralympic games, which kick off on the 29 August (and wrap up on the 9th September). We don’t know about you but after the fantastic spectacle and British success from the Olympics, we’re well up for it!
The first Paralympics were held after World War Two and staged for veterans of the war that had lost limbs, under the name ‘The 1948 International Wheelchair Games’. They were staged in London and were to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. The first games to be open to non-war veterans came twelve later, but were still only for people in wheelchairs. It wasn’t until 1976 that people with other disabilities were considered for entry. When it first started, the games would attract between 300-400 athletes. This year’s will have more than 4,000!
There will be plenty of televised events, both live and as-live. The Paralympics are due to due shown on Channel Four, so don’t go leaving your sets tuned into BBC One from the Olympics… There’s plenty of opportunities to watch the games live as well, with many of the same venues used for The Olympics being used. There are still plenty of tickets on sale and some free events such as the marathon and road cycling. So why not get some in?
There are plenty of events to keep sports fans happy with. Rugby, tennis, fencing, rowing, shooting, football, cycling, athletics, archery – most of the sports you expect. There’s even a sport that doesn’t exist outside of disabled sports, ‘boccia’. For the first time in the Paralympics history, it won’t just be physically disabled athletes taking part in the events. The International Paralympic Committee ruled that athletes with intellectual disabilities could compete for medals.
You’d better believe it! For anyone that doubts that the athletes are serious about the games and suspect those competing don’t give it their all, we’d recommend you hunt down the fantastic 2005 documentary film, ‘Murderball’ (one of the best docs we’ve ever seen…). It gives a fascinating insight into the world of wheelchair rugby and specifically the rivalry between the US and Canada teams at the 2004 Paralympic games. A great sports film that profiles not just disabled sports but the mindset of sportsmen in general.
So we’re up for it, are you? We’d love to know your thoughts…Author's Google+ Page