WrittenBy: Kevin Dunne
Initially started as a small get-together in 1948, the Paralympics is now one of the largest sporting events in the world. Always held in the subsequent days of the World Olympics, the Paralympics is an eleven day long event involving athletes with various intellectual and physical disabilities. The participants are either blind, wheelchair bound, have a prosthetic limb, or are otherwise impaired in some way. The 2012 Paralympics were held in London, England and ended on the 9th of September. The entire event celebrated the human spirit and was, according to British Prime Minister David Cameron in a statement to the Associated Press, “an absolute triumph from start to finish.”
Video by SamsungMobileUK / YouTube
The games drew in 4,200 competitors from 164 nations and approximately 2.7 million spectators. Participants broke 251 world records during the event and raised over $70 million during the event. As if the Olympics weren’t spectacular enough, the Paralympics were full of breathtaking moments. From Matt Stutzman’s display in the Men’s Individual Compound Archery to Jacob Thomas’ triumph during the BC3 Mixed Pairs Boccia match, the Prime Minister’s words rang true. This year was perhaps the most publicized for the Paralympics, as it was broadcasted in over 100 countries and attracted many celebrities and other noteworthy figures, such as the Duchess of Cambridge. With Coldplay headlining as the main musical guest as well as Rihanna and Jay-Z performing, the closing ceremony drew a great deal of attention and coverage. While still not as popular as the Olympics, the Paralympics (in a certain sense) boasts more success and triumph and (again, in a certain sense) is more inspiring. The Paralympics don’t just end in the summer; they follow the Winter Olympics, so be sure to check it out in 2014.