Tuesday, September 6, 2011

International Paralympic Day Celebrates Sport Unity

 The Paralympic Games are elite sport events for athletes with a disability and they focus on emphasizing the athlete's achievements rather than disability. With the movement growing dramatically since its early days, the number of participating athletes has increased in the Summer Paralympic Games from 400 representing 23 countries in Rome 1960, to 3951 from 146 countries in Beijing 2008. In just over 500 days, London, England will host the 2012 Paralympic Games. And just one day before tickets go on sale, Friday September 9, 2011, International Paralympic Day will take place in Trafalgar Square in London.

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, International Paralympic Day will enable spectators to experience, up close and personal, the inspiration, motivation, excitement, and abilities of Paralympic athletes. This globally recognized day celebrates how sport continues to unify people around the world, but also the particular challenges sport represents for persons with a disability.

This year International Paralympic Day will showcase 20 sports that are included in the 2012 Paralympic Games program, with demonstrations in power lifting, rowing, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and more. Almost 100 British and international athletes, including 100m Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius of South Africa fresh off his competition at the able-bodied IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, will be in attendance. There will also be a Guinness World Record attempt in Sitting Volleyball.

The event in London this week will be the fifth ever International Paralympic Day and the first time the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will host it outside of Germany, their home base.

The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games and in 2012, they will be hosted from August 29 through to September 9.

Contact SIRC for more information on sport for athletes with a disability!

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