September 5, 2012, by Harry Waddle
Highs and Lows at the Paralympics
As the Paralympics heads into its final week, Games organisers will no doubt be pleased with what they have seen so far.
With the country swept with sporting fever, venues across the Games have been near to, or at, full capacity while the official broadcaster, Channel 4, have cleared their pre-planned daytime schedule to fit in more coverage due to viewer demand.
ParalympicsGB also has every right to be smiling, as they sit second in the medals table with only China ahead. At the time of writing, the team had picked up 23 gold, 30 silver and 26 bronze medals putting the home nation ahead of the likes of Russia, the USA and 2016 hosts Brazil.
Individuals including swimmer Ellie Simmonds, dressage star Sophie Christiansen and wheelchair sprinter David Weir have also shone, while Richard Whitehead’s superb win in the T42 200m has secured Nottinghamshire first golden post-box.
But the Games have not all been plain sailing, Oscar Pistorius’ ill-timed outburst after losing his 200m title and confusion over the classification system will not have helped the International Paralympic Committee’s aims, while viewing figures outside of the UK have been less than impressive.
Only time will tell if the Paralympics inspire more disabled people to take up sport, and perhaps more importantly change people’s attitude to disability, but in the meantime we have another five days of intense competition to enjoy before time is called on an incredible summer of sport.
Find out how you can get involved in sport at The University of Nottingham, whatever your ability or past experience on the University Sport website.
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