With the 2012 London Paralympic Games in full flow, we started talking about which of the sporting events we were most looking forward to & why....
"The Sport I’m looking forward to the most is the swimming. It’s incredible the speeds that the swimmers reach and shows an incredible ability both mentally and physically in the pool, despite having a disability. I am most looking forward to watching Ellie Simmonds who is a role model for me. She is in the S6 class and competes over many different events. In the classification title, S represents Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly strokes. Swimming classifications are on a gradient, with 1 being the most severely physically impaired to 10 having the least amount of physical disability. The competitions will be great and I'm sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere in the aquatic centre, especially when Ellie is competing!"
- David Griffin
"I'm looking forward to watching the Powerlifting the most. It’s a bench pressing competition to test an individuals’ upper body strength. There are different weight catagories that athletes fall into. There are 200 competitors, 120 male and 80 females. Athletes are given three attempts at each weight that they lift, and technique forms a strict criteria for each lift. The International Federation for Powerlifting state that ‘Athletes with a physical impairment in their legs or hips, which would prohibit them compete in weightlifting are eligible to compete in the sport at the Paralympics.’ I think this sport shows that anyone with a disability can continue to perform and feel the benefits of strength training, it’s a closely fought competition with athletes regularly pressing three times their bodyweight."
- Tom Cheeseman
"Wheelchair rugby is what I am looking forward to seeing! It is fast, it’s aggressive and there is a hidden skill and tactic level that is not immediately apparent. I love the fact that wheelchair contact is allowed but bodily contact is not. This sport could have the same atmosphere and popularity as beach volleyball did at the Olympics. Wheelchair Rugby is a physically demanding game. Players need to be robust, with speed, strength and stamina, as well as having excellent ball skills and the ability to think quickly and play tactically as a team. Don't miss the Mixed Wheelchair Rugby matches, starting on the 5th September at 14:00 when Great Britain will take on the United States!"
- Ross Gillanders