2 weeks, and over 1,500 medals later, sadly, the London 2012 Paralympic games have come to an end, but we saw a fiery finish to the games in true British style. At the start of the ceremony, Captain Luke Sinnott, a soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan 2010, climbed to the top of a pole to raise the union flag. 164 Paralympian flag carriers were also present carrying the flags of the countries represented at the Paralympic games.
Many very well deserved words of appreciation were given where due with a speeches from International Paralympic Committee president, Sir Philip Craven and Lord Sebastian Coe, the London 2012 chairman who received an amazing standing ovation from the crowd of 80,000 as he thanked the Game Makers and shared some of his own most memorable moments with them. Both were highly emotional when speaking of the Olympic and Paralympic games that were ” made in Britain”. Coe also paid tribute to the Olympic events for the new records of television viewing , ticket revenues and sporting achievement caused by the games. ”Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words, that when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity,” said Coe. Craven also added that the London Games were the “greatest ever”.
The extinguishing of the flame, was sound-tracked by the great British band; Coldplay as Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock eventually the flame that burned throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games. Simmonds, who is the winner of four Paralympic medals in the pool including two golds, was given the honour of putting out the Paralympic flame which was lit just 12 days ago in Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic games. Simmonds and Peacock then passed through the Paralympic athletes ass international musical guests Jay-Z and Rihanna from the US performed their song ‘ Run This Town’. A montage of the best moments of the games was played and before the ceremony came to a final close Coldplay’s ‘waterfall’ was played as the athletes covered the pitch.
They then passed the flame through the crowd of Paralympic athletes as Jay Z, Rihanna and Coldplay played Run This Town. Coldplay’s The Scientist sound tracked a montage of the best moments of the Games, before they closed the show with Every Teardrop is a Waterfall as many of the athletes streamed onto the pitch. Fireworks went off along the Thames and over the Olympic Park, with a projection on the Houses of Parliament that read: “Thank you London, thank you UK.”
Also, giving us a taste of what is to come, Brazil took the stage giving their presentation for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games with sparkles, a lot of colourful drumming and a beautiful number by a blind ballet troupe; ballet with a Brazillian twist.
These games have truly been a success and the Britain managed to take 3rd place in both the Olympic and Paralympic games. The nation is extremely proud of its achievements in these games and look forward to what is next to come in the UK. The next generation has surely been inspired.
Paralympic Officials from Great Britain continue to be displeased as the track and field timetable continues to run behind schedule. This meant that some of the supporters of David Weir missed his ‘spectacular’ triumph in the 5,000 m wheelchair race as it began more than 30 minutes late.
“We have fed our concerns to Locog as we want things to run to time…It would have been better for David Weir to compete in front of 80,000 fans, not 75,000.”.
David Weir MBE , born on the 5th of June 1979, is an elite Paralympic wheelchair athlete from London, England who represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games this year.
Weir represented Sutton in Wheelchair Athletics at the London Youth Games which was one of his first achievements as an athlete. In April 2008 he won his third London Marathon in a row which was his fourth marathon to participate in. His Paralympic career began in the Summer Paralympic Games of 2004 where he won 1 silver and 1 bronze medal, the following Paralympic year David Weir won 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze metal for team GB at Beijing in 2008. Only two days ago, Weir began his medal haul winning the 2012 Summer Paralympics 5,000 metres at the Olympic Stadium in London. ’David Weir currently holds the British record at all track distances up to 5,000 m, as well as on the road at 10 km, half marathon, and marathon.’
”One of the best wheelchair athletes in the world Britain’s top wheelchair racer”.
Described by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
As you may know by now, David Weir was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours. In addition to this great achievement, Weir joined Lucozade Sport as an Ambassador in 2007 and a patron for the 2012 London Youth Games Hall of Fame alongside Zoe Smith.Read More
Ellie Simmonds; a true example of one who is an inspiration for the next generation. Great Britain’s Eleanor Simmonds of Walsall, claimed her second gold medal of the London 2012 Paralympic games, winning the SM6 200m individual medley on Monday 3rd September, and at 17 years of age, she is yet to complete her A- Levels. What an achievement! Her victory came from a very tight 9 second gap between her and main rival, Germany’s Verena Schott, who took silver. After her victory over USA’s Victoria Arlen in the 400m freestyle, where she took five seconds off the World Record time, the fans and crowd in the packed Aquatics Centre, roared in glee to see that she had yet again beaten the world record she had set a few days before, winning her race in 3min 05.36sec! An outstanding performance, although breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly legs are not her strongest areas, when it comes to the freestyle, Simmonds is unrivalled!
- “Paralympic Poster Girl – in all her Golden Glory” http://www1.skysports.com/olympics/news/12040/8047933/Simmonds-eyes-more-glory
Beginning her journey as an athelete from a young age when she started swimming at the age of 5 , Ellie became the youngest Briton to win an Olympic or Paralympic medal at the age of 13. this was the beginning of her rapid rise into the eye of public which was followed by her receiving award from Queen Elizabeth II at 14 years of age. fast forward a short amount of years later and Ellie Simmonds is one of the most recognised Paralympic athletes in Great Britain. Ellie lives with a genetic disorder called Achondroplasia; a disorder of bone growth that causes the most common type of dwarfism. Despite what some may see as a hindrance, we are witnesses of her progress and achievement and are assured that this is only the beginning of greater things.
She awaits two more races; the S6 50m freestyle final on Tuesday 4th September and the 100m on Saturday 8th September. Simmonds is a great example of progress also, as she has already achieved her two medals despite only being able to come 5th in previous Paralympic games. She said to be on track for a ‘four medal haul’ this Paralympics.Read More
Natalia Partyka will be competing in Table Tennis tonight at 7:30pm (GMT) and it has been stated that this match is amongst the others that should not be missed. Born on the 27th July 1989, the polish table-tennis player has defied all odds, competing with able bodied athletes as well as athletes with disabilities despite the fact that she has had no right hand and forearm since birth.
In 1999, Partyka won her first international table tennis medal at the disabled World Championships. The following year, her Paralympic career begun, as she competed at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. Although, an excellent experience for Natalia Partyka, she won no medals that year. Her luck soon changed in the following Paralympic games of 2004 hosted in Athens as she won a gold medal in the singles table tennis event and a silver medal in the team event. That same year, Partyka won two gold medals at the International Table Tennis Federation European Championships for Cadets.
To the surprise of many, Natalia Partyka competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics of 2008 hosted in Beijing, being one of only two people to do so. These were her 1st Olympic Games and 3rd Paralympic Games and she made Poland proud yet again at the Paralympic Games by winning Gold in class 10, by defeating Fan Lei who represented China. In total, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics thus repeating her Athens Paralympics result.
The Games of London 2012, Partyka competed in the Women’s singles table tennis in the Olympic Games and is also competing in the Paralympic games yet again. There are high hopes for Natalia Partyka; she has a lot of potential to exceed her achievements of the last Olympic Games. Do not miss her match these evening, you never know maybe this time world records will be broken.
“I’m determined to set a new standard in Paralympic running….. My aim is to use London 2012 as platform to inspire people from all walks of life” These were the words of 36-year-old Richard Whitehead from Nottinghamshire. On Saturday 1st September at the London 2012 Paralympics, he did just that. Thousands were inspired by the British athlete who won the Gold medal in the 200m T42 Athletics on Saturday in record time. Richard gained a new level of respect when he declared he was dedication his victory to his fellow sportsman, Simon Mellows from Woodborough who had died from sarcoma, a rare cancer that mostly affect the limbs neck and head.
Normally a marathon (long distance) runner, Richard had to take to a different style of running (short-distance) and despite this, still came first. In his own words, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Having slipped at the start of his race, Richard made what could be called a miraculous recovery, going on to secure a gold medal at the end. Hailed by the 60,000+ crowd as he crossed the finish line, Richard gave a two-gun salute in victory. Richard is an example of pushing past the odds and his victory is an encouragement that will stir up many hearts.
Just as Anthony Ogogo, Nick Dempsey and many others had post boxes painted in their honour, the Royal Mail decided to celebrate Richard Whitehead’s win by painting a postbox gold in his home village; Lowdham. Richard said it was Simon who inspired him to take up running and still continued playing cricket, even after having his leg amputated because of his illness. Truly an inspiration to all who hear of these great men.
With two amputated legs, Richard Whitehead is a record holder in the 200m, half-marathon and marathon for double amputees. An applaud of respect is due to him and with the 400m and 4 x 100m still to run, we wish Richard Whitehead the best for the races to come.Read More
It has been a good second day for GB Cyclists at the London 2012 Paralympics. Cyclists Shaun McKeown, Jon-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.