Posts made in August, 2012

Mark Colbourne: Victory for a great role model

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Blog

Mark Colbourne: Victory for a great role model

It has been a good second day for GB Cyclists at the London 2012 Paralympics. Cyclists Shaun McKeownJon-Allan Butterworth, Darren Kenny, Aileen McGlynn and Mark Colbourne all winning gold, silver and bronxe medals for Great Britain between them.

42 year old Mark Colbourne of Tredegar, South Wales, won the silver medal on Thursday,  in the C1-2-3 time trial and on Friday, he claimed the gold medal in the C1 3km individual pursuit, finishing in 3min 53.97sec beating the previous record by more than seven seconds . Colbourne has been highly commended by many for his achievement, and he is being widely referred to as a ‘great role model’.

Mark Colbourne ‘Victory’ http://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/olympic-news/paralympics-glory-beckons-for-mark-colbourne-as-he-powers-to-a-world-record-8099629.html

 In May of 2009, Colbourne was seriously injured when he was involved in a paragliding accident in Swansea. The accident, in which his paragliding wing fell to the ground and folded in front of him from around 40ft, left him with a broken back and lower leg paralysis from severe nerve damage in his spine. This meant he had to undergo five months of arduous physiotherapy in order for him to be able to learn how to walk again. Mark’s passion for sport helped him as he completed hours of rigorous training in 2011, just two years after his injury.

His courage and endurance is remarkable and he’s an inspiring ambassador for sport” Nick Smith Blaenau, Gwent MP.

His success is being welcomed by many, as the London Paralympics 2012 is Colbourne’s first Paralympic Games and he has already become the world champion in his sport. Truly an inspiration alongside the other cyclists who acquired medals for team GB;

In Paralympic cycling, visually impaired riders are paired with a pilot, who steers the tandem. Aileen McGlynn and her pilot Helen Scott, won silver in the women’s individual B 1km time trial. They came after Felicity Johnson and Stephanie Morton of Australian, who won, setting a new Paralympic record of 1min 8.919sec. In the men’s C3 individual pursuit, Shaun McKeown clinched the silver medal coming in second after Joseph Berenyi of the United States and GB’s Darren Kenny came in third in a world record time of 3:35.257.

We wish all athletes the best of luck in the other events the must now prepare for.

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Paralympics day one off to a good start

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Blog

Paralympics day one  off to a good start

So, the Paralympic Games London 2012 begin, and what other way to start them than to bring home a gold medal on day one! The first gold medal of the 14th Paralympic games was won by one of our own; cyclist Sarah Storey. The superb victory was won in the women’s C5 three-kilometre individual pursuit which was took place at the London 2012 velodrome, where Sarah soared to her sweet success.

'Sarah Storey' wins Gold for Team GB http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/paralympics/cycling-sarah-storey-wins-team-gbs-first-gold-medal-of-the-paralympic-games-8096419.html

Six laps into the 12 lap race, Storey caught up to her opponent Anna Harkowska from Poland and overtook her, earning an electrifying applause from the elated crowd of near 6,000. The 34-year-old originally from Manchester, held on to her gold in the women’s individual pursuit C5 gold from Beijing, winning her eighth Paralympic title overall and her third title as a cyclist throughout her career which began in 1992. In a commendable fashion, Storey showed humble appreciation to her opponents saying:

“Mentally you’ve got to prepare, anything can happen, I have to respect all my competitors… nothing’s ever easy at this level” We wish Storey the best for the other three events has to prepare for.

In the swimming events, Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand won the gold medal in the women’s 200m IM – SM10 in world record time! Jonathan Fox of Great Britain clinched gold in the Men’s 100m Backstroke – S7 final and in the men’s ­­­ 50m freestyle S5 Daniel Dias of Brazil set a new record! He smashed the current record finishing in 32.05 secs! Stephens and Mullen of GB finished sixth and eighth respectively and Sebastian Rodriguez representing Spain claimed the silver medal. Wonderful races swam by all.

A very tense Basketball match between Germany and Great Britain saw Britain behind Germany in the end with a 72-77 score to Germany, just 5 points separating them. Heart-breaking for team GB who were at a draw with Germany 66-66 before they had to into overtime! Throughout the game spectators were at the edges of their seats even till the very end!  Unfortunately in sitting volleyball and goalball, team GB did were defeated by Russia (Sitting Volleyball) and Lithuania (Goalball).

Team GreatBritain have 7 medals so far; 2 gold, 3 silvers and 2 bronze on the first day of the London 2012 Paralympics, hopes are high and all the teams are on their way, making their countries proud!

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Near 8 Million View the Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Blog

Near 8 Million View the Paralympic Opening Ceremony

‘The curtain raiser to the 2012 Paralympic Games was one of Channel 4′s most watched shows with an average of 7.6m tuning in.’

The Paralympics opening ceremony of London 2012 attracted an average audience of approximately 8 million viewers which made it one of the most watched shows on Channel 4 in 30 years.

Wednesday night marked the beginning of the 11-day London 2012 Paralympic Games with an average of 7.6 million viewers between 8pm and it’s later than expected finish of 12.20am.

“Last night’s opening ceremony was a spectacular start to the London 2012 Paralympic Games and I’m delighted that so many viewers enjoyed it with us. It kicks off eleven days of great sporting coverage on Channel 4.”

Channel 4′s chief creative officer, Jay Hunt.

The ceremony started in a truly spectacular way with a fly-past over the Olympic Stadium by a light aircraft covered with bright blue lights. The pilot of the aircraft, trained to fly by the charity Aerobilty, was former Army Lance Corporal Dave Rawlins, whose right leg was shattered during an operation in Afghanistan.

Amongst the many highlights of the evening was the ‘mesmerising dancing of double amputee David Toole’ who ages 48, was born with a severe leg deformity which led to the amputation of both of his legs at just 18 months old in order to give him greater mobility.

Toole worked as a postman in Leeds for nearly 10 years before he was invited to join Candoco, a professional company of disabled and non-disabled dancers where he went on world tours with many different shows and ‘forged’ a successful career as an actor.

Another spectacular moment was the entrance of the Paralympic torch into the Olympic Stadium, where torchbearer Joe Townsend, a Royal Marine and also a double amputee, descended a zip-wire from a 350ft-high ArcelorMittal Orbit tower to the base of the Paralympic cauldron. Joe Townsend, aged 24, lost both of his legs when he mistakenly stepped on an make-shift explosive device whilst on a foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2008.

The final torchbearer of the night, who used the flame to light the Paralympics cauldron, was Margaret Maughan aged  84 , was the First Gold medallist to represent Britain at the inaugural Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, where she came first in women’s Archery. Maughan went on to compete in four more Paralympics Games, winning three gold medals.

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Good spirits as thousands await the Paralympic Torch

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Blog

Good spirits as thousands await the Paralympic Torch

Thousands have come to support and witness the Paralympic flame which is on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Paralympic Games opening ceremony from Stoke Mandeville where it left on Tuesday night. In Aylesbury’s market square came to watch the launching of the relay and many more joined overnight along the route to cheer on the torchbearers.

It seems as though there has been some delays in the torches schedule. The flame arrived in north London almost two hours late and organisers said breaks would be cut to save time.  A spokeswoman from the ‘London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (LOCOG), put out a statement saying “A number of steps were taken today to try to bring the relay back to the original time schedule,”

The flame, After arriving in London, was carried up the steps to Britain’s first traditional Hindu temple Brent where is was lit. Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent, helped pull apart the string which ”allows” the Paralympic torch through. Mr Gardiner said: “It was a very special moment. We have been waiting since 6.30am and the thrill and excitement is just fantastic. I don’t think there has ever been a setting like this, for an Olympic or Paralympic flame.”

Crowds cheered on torchbearers In Maida Vale as they carried the flame over the Abbey Road crossing and at London Zoo Adam Hollick, John Craig, Fiona Forsyth, Charlie Humphrys and Aruna Mahtani held the flame  in the penguin enclosure . When the flame arrives at the Olympic Park, it will be used to light the cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Games.

London 2012 organisers say that they ”have refined the exchange process and are making up time.” initially after the delay was announced, a few were beginning to be skeptic about the route but the London 2012 organisers sent out a statement assuring the public saying  a back-up flame will be on its way to the stadium from City Hall.

Despite waiting hours for the torch, it is being said that crowds were full of cheerful families and at times it was quite emotional at points were soldiers wounded in Afghanistan took the flame past downing street. The community spirit shines through once again. We wait excited for the Opening Ceremony

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Let the Games Begin! Paralympics to Start Tomorrow

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Blog

Let the Games Begin! Paralympics to Start Tomorrow

 

The London Paralympic games are said to follow the same ‘ inspiring’ theme as the Olympics. The opening ceremony,called ‘Enlightenment’ ,­celebrates Britain’s science and discovery history. Nicola Miles Wildin, who is a  disabled actress will play Miranda, the central ­character from the Bard’s last play. Guiding the audience through the ­spectacle, she will kick off the proceedings with the immortal lines: “O wonder! How many goodly creatures there are here!

“How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!”

Nicola expressed her feelings saying : “I’m so excited to be playing the role of Miranda. The show will celebrate the amazing athletes and the arts as well as showing how talented and diverse this country is. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The ceremony will start with a flypast by Aerobility, a charity that trains disabled people in becoming pilots. With an expected global TV audience of a billion, it is set to be a quite spectacle. Another highly anticipated part of the show is a circus act, to be performed by disabled performers and  rehabilitating soldiers.

‘Olympic Games have finally arrived’ http://www.expressandstar.com/sport/uk-sport/2012/08/29/final-countdown-to-paralympic-games-2/

With a mix of classical and dance music, the spectacular will also pay special tribute to the achievements of Professor Stephen Hawking and discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, which will be  acted out by a a 3,000+ cast of volunteers. Artistic directors Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings were honoured to have the job of directing the show and stated they were determined to make Britain proud. “We want our ceremony to be both spectacular and deeply human,” they said in a statement.

IPC President, Sir Philip Craven said: “The opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games is always a magical occasion and I’m extremely impressed with what London has prepared.”

Organisers have announced yesterday that on Sunday 9th September, the last day of the games, a nationwide celebration of music will be held, and musicians  across the country will play their own versions of Coldplay’s hit Viva La Vida at exactly 2pm, with outdoor community concerts taking place all at once across the UK. Ruth Mackenzie, director of the London 2012 Festival said: “The Bandstand Marathon is encouraging local music groups to showcase talents and be part of the London 2012 Festival.

The ceremony will be streamed live tonight at 8:00pm on Channel 4, More4 and Ch4 Paralympics 1. We will be watching, make sure you tune in for an awesome show!

 

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