Sunday 29 August marks two years to go until the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.┬á And it will be a particularly special moment for the UK as the country that hosted the first Paralympics in 1948, putting disability sport on the map.
This time the UK is determined to host the most accessible sporting event ever; using the 2012 Games to help change the way the world views disability and encourage a more open and inclusive society.
The UK will be in the world’s spotlight when it hosts the Games in 2012 and is looking forward to the challenge. In terms of the size and scale and organisational complexity the Paralympic Games are the world’s second biggest sporting event, involving 4000 athletes from 150 countries who will be competing in 470 events across 11 days.
When London won the right to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the UK promised to welcome the world to ‘Everyone’s Games.’ Delivering a highly accessible games with world-class facilities for disabled people is just part of that commitment.┬á The UK wants to harness the full power of London 2012 to bring about lasting change in society’s attitude to disability.
The British High Commission is marking the two year point by launching a short ‘See Britain’ video with one of the UK’s most successful Paralympians Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. Tanni has enjoyed incredible success over the course of her career including winning 11 Paralympic gold medals and the London wheelchair marathon six times.
In her short film Tanni comments on how far the UK has come in 35 years in terms of the provision of disabled facilities and access, and how the UK today demonstrates what an inclusive society can look like. She hopes the 2012 Games are used as a platform to showcase to the world what is possible to achieve both on and off the track.
Meanwhile the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is also marking two years to go until the 2012 Paralympic Games. Chris Holmes, LOCOG’s director for Paralympic Integration and Britain’s most successful individual Paralympic swimmer, was at the Team GB Paralympic training camp in Bath to check on the progress of a number of┬á medal hopefuls. The Paralympic Mascot Mandeville was also in attendance and everyone will be continuing the countdown to the 2012 Paralympics.
With more athletes and teams destined to compete in London than at any previous Paralympic Games the UK is determined to provide the facilities and audiences to spur the athletes on to achieve extraordinary feats.
The Olympic Games will run from 27 July 2012 until 12 August 2012. The Paralympic Games will be held from 29 August 2012 to 9 September 2012.