The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the fourteenth Summer Paralympic Games, and also more generally known as the London 2012 Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), that took place in London, England from 29 August to 9 September 2012.
The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, following the Olympic Games, and are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.
In 2012 the Games will be held in London, United Kingdom after the city was successful with its bid for the Paralympics and Summer Olympic Games. There will currently be 1.6 million tickets available for the various events with a predicted sell-out rate of 63%.
Even though 2012 will be London's third Olympic Games, it will be the first Paralympic Games to be staged there, as the event was created after the last time the city hosted in 1948.
The bulk of the Paralympic venues are set in two zones Olympic Park Zone and the River Zone. The two zones are within 15 minutes of each other, minimizing travel times and disruption for Paralympians.
The River Zone will see a lot of action:
The 2012 Paralympic Games in London will have 11 events at the main Olympic Park in Stratford including athletics, wheelchair rugby, goalball, wheelchair fencing, archery, swimming, table tennis, 7 a side and 5 a side football, track cycling plus wheelchair tennis. Powerlifting, judo, wheelchair basketball, boccia, sitting volleyball will all take place at the nearby ExCeL Center venue, equestrian events will be at Greenwich Park and shooting events will be held at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The UK is busy preparing for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, including plans for the Olympic Park, transportation, sustainability, ceremonies, technology, security, ticketing and accommodation.
The London Olympic Stadium will be the center piece of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The stadium will be located at Marshgate Lane in Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley and will have a capacity for the Games of approximately 80,000. Land preparation for the stadium began in mid-2007, with construction beginning in mid-2008 and completion scheduled for mid-2011.
The International Olympic Committee says that London 2012 will enable England to provide facilities and services for elite athletes, as well as encouraging participation in sport after the 2012 Games are over. The Olympic Park in East London "will become a model of social inclusion, opening up opportunities for education, cultural and skills development and jobs for people across London and Great Britain"
London 2012 will encourage active participation involving people in a whole range of Games activities from community activities and volunteering to sporting and cultural events. It will inspire young people and connect them to sport by putting the inspirational values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the school curriculum.
The purpose of London 2012 is to deliver accessible and inclusive designs for all facilities, maximize media coverage and strengthen the Paralympic Movement. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the pinnacle of every athlete's career. London 2012 will strive to provide conditions that enable the athletes to compete in an environment of excellence, friendship and enjoyment.
The 2012 London Paralympics will also be the first Games since the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney in which athletes with intellectual disabilities will be authorized to compete, following a decision by the International Paralympic Committee in 2008.
World class venues and a world class transport system will be essential to the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Every participant at the Paralympics has their disability grouped into one of five disability categories;
Each Paralympic sport then has its own classifications, dependent upon the specific physical demands of competition. Events are given a code, made of numbers and letters, describing the type of event and classification of the athletes competing. Some sports, such as athletics, divide athletes by both the category and severity of their disabilities, other sports, for example swimming, group competitors from different categories together, the only separation being based on the severity of the disability.