From the very best bits to what you’ve been talking about, we’ve got the Paralympic Games 2012 covered!
It is with great honour and duty that I write these words today. Having manned the @Dhorizons Twitter stream all day – the last day of the Paralympic Games and our daily articles - I feel a pressure to summarise what this has meant to us all.
One would imagine a need to review how well the events, the athletes, the venues, the Gamesmakers, the public transport and the ticketing went. Of course we should touch upon this.
However, for me the wave of sadness seen over the Games ending says everything. People have been enthralled throughout these Paralympics for a multitude of reasons. People usually less engaged with disability have been not only been made to consider medical conditions, but also the grit and determination of the Paralympians. The Games have given a global platform to tell stories, educate our world of a sometimes forgotten group, and paved the way for positive change.
Meanwhile disabled people have a new bunch of heroes, role models and celebrities to aspire to be like. This, for me, is the most powerful result of these Games. We are seeing social change in action right here guys.
Many people have tweeted about feeling down with the Games ending. I feel the sadness will disappear into a new invigoration in improving the lives of everyday disabled people too. Let’s use this wave to improve access to everyday transport, facilities in public building, employment of disabled people and of course disability sports. The sky is the limit!
But, back to the Games and…
My top 5 highlights
1. 7-a-side Football – Great British! Having watched some of the 7-a-side Football live last weekend with Team DH, it was great to see Great Britain win their match today 3-1 over USA for 7th spot. Take a look at the match for yourself on the Channel 4 website.
2. The last gold of the Games. Also in 7-a-side Football Russia took the last gold medal of the 2012 Paralympics with a 1-0 win over Ukraine. Having played wheelchair football myself I would love to see this as an event next time too.
3. The Marathon – Shelley storms silver. In the women’s marathon Shelley Woods fought hard to grab a well-deserved silver medal. She finished the gruelling course in 1h 46m. This ended GBs medal haul and took them to 120 overall, with an amazing 34 golds. GB safely had their best Games ever!
4. The Marathon and athlete in the spotlight – The ‘Weir Wolf’
David Weir flew in to victory in an impressive 1h 30m in the men’s marathon. Having already won gold in the T54 800m, 1500m and 5000m, this was the icing on the cake for him, GB and the Paralympics. Weir said it was the toughest race of his life and he was doubting himself in the early stages.
Lets give David a huge ‘Weir Wolf’ oooooooooowwwwwww…
And the highlight winning gold…
5. The closing ceremony
Whilst we were sad to see the Games end, I thoroughly enjoyed the celebration of the most successful Paralympic Games ever! The music, the smiles and the fireworks. Well done everyone involved and especially Channel 4 for bringing this spectacle to millions of peoples’ lives.
Top 5 tweets
Jon Snow - @jonsnowC4
“Prepping for tonight’s amazing Paralympic Closing and tomorrow’s Olympic/Paralympic Parade in London: 2 big big days in our reporting lives.”
Sophie Peart – @sophie_peart
“The channel 4 coverage of the Paralympics definitely grew on me, Clare and Ade were by far my favourite presenters! #C4Paralympics”
Mark Pougatch – @markpougatch
“Enjoying enormously the Paralympics review programme on channel 4. And quality new barnet @clarebalding1”
Angela Kinder – @angekinder
Zubee Kibria – @zubalicious1
“Now Paralympics coming to an end, keep the dream alive – Junior Amputee Games 15/16th Sept more info limbpower.com”
At DH we hope you have enjoyed these Games, our coverage and celebration of all the action and excitement together. Thanks for making the past 11 days so epic and fun!
By Martyn Sibley
Let us know how you’ve been celebrating the Paralympic Games and what disability sport you’re involved in – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @DHorizons or send us a message on Facebook.