You’re probably aware that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in London in August. However, you may not know that London will be the most accessible host city ever! Train platforms have been widened, buses have been made wheelchair accessible and all river piers have ramps. More than 8,250 London buses have been fitted with the new iBus system. It’s an automatic radio and on-bus passenger display announcement system that helps the visually and hearing-impaired and those unfamiliar with London. The Olympic Delivery Authority published its Inclusive Design Strategy in 2008 that set the framework of how the Olympic Park was constructed to be accessible to people with disabilities. Enjoy some quick facts about what the games mean for people with disabilities!
- 2 million Paralympic Game tickets sold
- 4,200 Paralympic Games athletes
- 500 Paralympic Game medals be award
- 20 Paralympic Sports
- 80,000 spectators will watch the opening ceremony (5,000 watched the first Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony)
- Games are happening August 29 – September 9
- “Para” means “alongside” – so “parallel” to the Olympic Games
- 6,000 media and broadcasters will be watching live
- 1,200 technical officials ensuring fair play
- The podiums ramp up slowly so they will used for both the Olympic and Paralympic games for the first time ever.
- Britain’s youngest ever gold medalist was Joanne Round who won swimming relay gold in Seoul in 1988 at the age of 12.
- Rome, in 1960, was the first host city to use its Olympic venues for the Paralympic Games.
- The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Based in Bonn, Germany, it celebrated its 20th anniversary in September 2009.
When it’s game time in August, you’ll be ready to watch, cheer and support the world’s Paralympic athletes!