August 24, 2012, by Fraser

Let the Paralympic Games begin…

The University and the Paralympics

After a highly successful Olympic Games for the University, none of our students or graduates have made it to the Paralympics. But hopefully this won’t be the case at the Rio Games in 2016.

Club thrower — and Nottingham Maths student — Thomas Green narrowly missed out on a place in this summer’s event due to a niggling back injury, but he’s determined to make it to Rio.

In a recent blog post, So Near, Yet So Far, Thomas said: “So, it turns out that narrowly missing out on selection for a Paralympic Games isn’t an especially enjoyable experience.

“I can say this with some certainty, having gone through it twice in the past ten days – once with the original decision last Monday, and again with a failed appeal on Friday.

“Despite my personal disappointment, the 2012 Paralympics promises to be an incredible spectacle. I have a lot of friends in what is a fantastic British team, and I hope the broadcasters also find time to show the many great overseas athletes, in order to show the Games in their best light.

“As for me, I can get in an extra two months’ training while my future rivals are concentrating on performing in London. Small margins they may be, but by the time we get to Rio in 2016, they will all add up.”

We caught up with Thomas prior to the Olympics, so check out this Q&A to find out more about club throwing, Thomas’ thoughts on the Paralympics and his earliest Olympic and Paralympic memories.

Club throwing

In case you’re not sure what club throwing is, here’s an explanation from That Paralympic Show presenter Rick Edwards:

“For those in the dark about club throwing, it’s a sport exclusive to the Paralympic Games, which sees athletes with cerebral palsy hurling a 400-gram club as far as the laws of gravity allow, sometimes even further. In true That Paralympic Show style, I once (foolishly) took on GB club throwing star Stephen Miller at his own game.

“Well, I say ‘his own game’ – we were throwing Club biscuits and stuff. But safe to say I was humbled. Anyway, having won silver at the Beijing Paralympic Games, Stephen will be looking to go one better in London.”

Hot prospects

Rick included club throwing in his top 10 Paralympic sports, which also includes track cycling, where Jody Cundy is a great prospect for Team GB, and the 100metres final, featuring Oscar Pistorius — who also competed in this year’s Olympics.

One of Team GB’s hottest prospects is double gold medal-winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds. Just 13 at the last Olympics in Beijing, she won both 100m and 400m freestyle events. And a year later, at 14, she became the youngest ever person to add MBE to her name.

Spend 100 seconds with Ellie Simmonds

Paralympic bits and bobs

  • Trischa Zorn is the most decorated athlete in Paralympic history with an incredible 46 medals — including 37 golds
  • China won the most medals in Beijing in 2008, followed by Great Britain and the USA
  • In London 2012, Oscar Pistorius was the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games

London 2012 Facts and figures — courtesy of

  • 4,200 athletes
  • 20 sports and 20 disciplines
  • 20 venues
  • 2.2 million tickets

Let the Paralympic Games begin

The Paralympics run from Wednesday 29 August to Friday 7 September. The Opening Ceremony begins at 8.30pm and will be televised live on Channel 4.

Posted in Paralympics