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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The Paralympic Torch Has Taken Off!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Blog

The Paralympic Torch Has Taken Off!

With only hours to go till the Paralympic Games, hopes are high and the 2012 games are said to be the biggest ever, being the first to have sold out – with over 2 million tickets already sold. Many tickets were sold to overseas visitors and it is being said that the 2012 Paralympic Games will see a change in attitude towards disability, worldwide. These games will be another great success for the country responsible for founding the Paralympic movement.

The opening ceremony is already sold out and to usher us into the ceremony, a 24-hour torch relay commenced at 20:00 28th August 2012. Four national flames were lit last week and will be brought to the Olympic stadium on a 92 mile journey from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, where The Paralympic movement began in 1948. The torch is set to begin its journey with it’s route passing by the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville, Lord’s Cricket Ground and London Zoo.

Once the torch has arrived in London, eight of the 580 torchbearers will carry a national flame into the Olympic stadium preceded by a guard of honour made up of 150 local residents.

Katie Piper, founder of the Katie Piper Foundation and Paralympian Tony Griffin who won 38 medals in his career and is Bolton’s Sports Ambassador, will then carry the English flame. Jon Jo Look, an amputee boxer who coaches young people in boxing and Noel McShane founder of both the ‘National Wheelchair Tennis Association of Great Britain’ and the ‘British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships’, will be carrying the Scottish flame. Constable Darren Ferguson, who talked a distress man down from a bridge and Joseph Morris who is credited for saving the life of a drowning stranger, will carry the Northern Ireland flame. And finally, Marsha Wiseman and Julie Gilbert will be carrying the flame from wales. A wonderful collection of great people in Britain.

At 20:00 , the first team of torchbearers left the stadium. signifying the start of the torch relay. The team which was chosen by the IPC ( International Paralympic Committee) is made up of the following people, who are also all paralympians :

  • IPC president Sir Philip Craven
  • Baroness Susan Masham
  • Caz Walton
  • Sally Haynes
  • Jane Blackburn

“We’ve tried to get as many people in as we reasonably can. This is a wonderful illustration of how the British public have said we love the Paralympics and want to be part of it.” Paul Deighton London 2012 chief executive.

After two weeks of what seemed to be a national ‘Post Olympic Depression’ it seems as though Britain is ready once again to show the world what it has achieved, as the Paralympic games are truly something to be proud of. The nation is coming together again, ready for an outstanding display of remarkable achievement from the super-humans themselves!

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What Now?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Blog

Okay… lets all admit it.

We’re all suffering from post-Olympic depression. The whole city of London is lost! they have no idea what to do with themselves now. The excitement of the games has worn off. The gold medalists have their… well, medals, and all the lovely participating countries have gone home. So what now?

Well! The for the next Olympics our eyes have shifted from the city of London the city of Sochi. The winter Olympics are to take place in Sochi in 2014. The absolutely beautiful city in Russia, has already started a countdown; five-hundred and thirty-nine (539) days to go! The athletes, are said to be about two-hundred and fifty-eight of them and the sports include:

  •  Alpine skiing
  • Biathlon (this combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting)
  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Freestyle skiing
  • Ice hockey
  • Luge
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboard
  • Speed skating

I’m sure that the people are excited… or at least they will be. There is some interesting speculation about tropical countries participating. As none have won ANY medals whatsoever in any of the winter games. Two years ago we saw Ghana, the Cayman Islands, Peru and Columbia make their debuts in the 2010 Olympic winter games held in Vancouver. Only a few tropical-climate countries have entered in the winter games before; some have stopped participating and others, haven’t even bothered. Will the games in Sochi be different? We’ll find out in 2014, wont we?

Aside from the winter Olympics…

FIFA! Believe it or not, people have already started buying tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup games! Already!  The match schedule for FIFA 2014  has even been released and was announced last year (it can be viewed on the official FIFA website). If you’re not planning ahead… you better start because everyone should most certainly be getting ready for Rio this sports season, they are hosting the 2014 FIFA world cup games AND the 2016 Summer Olympics. How did they swing that?

Aside from the excitement that it will generate world-wide, this is also a great opportunity for Rio, as this city will be  ’the place to be’ for the next what?… Four years! All eyes will be on Brazil (that’s where Rio is). Talk about the potential boost to their economy. If they play their cards right, that city will develop so fast, and before we know it, Rio could be the place to be. Period.

Spogger is also getting ready for the 2014 World cup. We’re preparing, to prepare you for the games (pat on my back for my excellent word play). The App, which helped out so many people during the 2012 London Olympic games is now going to help you out with the 2014 winter Olympics and the FIFA world cup. We’re Available on  iOS and Android. It really is a must have app for sports.

So… Until 2014!

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‘The Greatest After-Party in the World’

Posted by on Aug 12, 2012 in Blog

‘The Greatest After-Party in the World’

Full of fun, humour and enjoyment for all, the closing ceremony is intended to be where all can “let of their steam” after working so hard during the Olympic games.

Secret rehearsals have been well  under way at a disused site at the Ford factory in Dagenham, where final changes and adjustments are being made to perfect the big show on Today.  Estimated to last two-and-half-hours, the production will be entitled ‘A Symphony of British Music’ and will be a celebration of British design, fashion, fine art, poetry and play-writing. It’s said to be  more theatrical than a concert as it reaches far beyond the realms of the stage as ‘It’s a big arms around the world’ event’ where the turn out will be a big party.

Stay tuned, the worldwide broadcast will start at 9pm on Today and will feature over 4,100 performers of 3,880 are volunteers.

David Arnold is the mastermind behind the ceremony and has composed original music to link each segment together with the help of the London Symphony Orchestra, with only vocals being performed live.

Similarly to the opening ceremony, the Queen and Boris Johnson, (the mayor of London) and the President of the International Olympics Committee, will be giving speeches.

“We could have done this 15 times over, and not had the same show, and it would still have been full of amazing British music. It’s going to be beautiful, cheeky, cheesy, camp, silly and thrilling. We’re trying to have moments where someone from the Cotswolds watching it on TV and someone from a tower block overlooking it in the East End will be able to find something in it of which they can say, that’s us, really, that’s Britain.” David Arnold.

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London 2012 – A Celebration of Human Achievement

Posted by on Aug 12, 2012 in Blog

London 2012 – A Celebration of Human Achievement

On Monday , the curtains will fall on the Olympic Games of 2012 and it has been a magnificent two weeks of sport in London. The Games of this summer are the starting points of the numerous debates and discussions on whether the London Games were better than those in Sydney? Who proved themselves to be a more outstanding athlete, Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps?

Despite what the critics say about the commercialisation of the Olympic Games, at the center of it all, the purpose of the Olympics is to act as a celebration of human sporting achievement. There are other ways to look at this as well; the entire world stood in marvel as they saw what our ‘fellow humans’ are capable of. Numerous world and Olympic records set proved that talent is ever evolving, no two Olympic Games are alike, in fact it seems as though there is a rise in talented people across the board , increasing the difficulty in achieving greatly as everyone’s standards have increased greatly.

The performance of the host nation seemed to start off slow, but soon picked up its pace, collecting gold medals with ease, captivating the  athletes, the British public (adding to their joy) and atmosphere of celebration that ‘lifted the entire Olympic Games’. As a nation what have we gained from hosting the Olympics? The experience. Thousands of people all across the United Kingdom had the once in a lifetime opportunity to participate somehow in the Summer Games ,whether it be as a volunteer in the opening ceremony or watching the torch relay pass their village or town. These experiences are what the people of Britain will cherish the most, not just the achievement of the number of Gold medals but the sense of pride and unity as they became part of the Games in the Olympic Games of 2012 hosted in London.

When the Games finally come to an end on Monday,the British public can look back with pride and satisfaction at what they were able to accomplish over the past two weeks as well as join other nations as they look forward to the next ‘gathering of Olympic nations’ in the Summer Olympic Games of 2016 in Rio de Janerio.

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