London Paralympic opens today, biggest ever

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | 9:18 AM    

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The London 2012 Paralympics which opens today and will run until September 9, are set to be biggest in the Games' 52-year history.

The Paralympic Flame has arrived in London ahead of the opening ceremony just hours away, carried by Great Britain's most successful Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Boxer Michael Watson and swimmer Chris Holmes were also part of the torch-bearing team.

Interesting Paralympic facts:

  • So far,A record 2.5million tickets have been put on sale and with only 100,000 tickets left, organisers expecting the first-ever Paralympic sell-out.

  • 4,200 athletes are vying in 503 medal events, up from 3,951 competitors in Beijing in 2008.

  • There are 20 paralympic sports in 2012, including athletics, swimming, cycling, wheelchair rugby, and goalball, in which visually-impaired athletes play with a ball embedded with a bell.

  • 166 countries are expected to send athletes to the Games. Some 16 nations will be making their Paralympic debut, including North Korea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • There are 15 competition venues, including the Olympic Stadium, velodrome, aquatics centre and Eton Manor, a permanent new complex of nine wheelchair tennis courts inside the Olympic Park.

  • 1,250 anti-doping samples will be taken during the Paralympics, an increase of 25 percent since Beijing.

  • A workshop with 15,000 spare parts will be on standby to repair athletes' wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and orthoses- devices which support the limbs.

  • 580 Torchbearers will carry the Paralympic flame in a 24-hour relay from Stoke, Mandeville - the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, in southern England - to arrive at London's Olympic Stadium on August 29.

  • 780 hours of luve coverage will be streamed on the International Paralympic Committee's website, with commentary in English and Spanish.



Do you think an increase in JUTC bus fares is justified at this time?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon