In just 48 days, the Paralympic Games will open in London with the lighting of the Paralympic Flame. The Flame itself will have traveled via relay for 24 hours and over 87 miles and will have been carried by 580 inspirational Torchbearers. The Torchbearers, working in teams of five, will travel from Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire to London.
The Paralympic Games themselves will last from August 29th, 2012 through September 9th, 2012 and will include sports such as Archery, Boccia, Cycling, Equestrian sports, Goalball, Wheelchair Basketball, Swimming, Wheelchair Rugby, and Sitting Volleyball. Athletes are traveling to London from all over the world to participate in the Paralympics and each country is currently putting their Paralympic team together. In the meantime, we will highlight famous Paralympic athletes from previous games:
- Lea Pearson (Equestrian from Great Britain) has won a total of nine gold medals in the last three Paralympic Games (three each). Mr. Pearson entered the spotlight when he won gold in the Mixed, Mixed Freestyle, and Mixed Team events at his first games in Sydney, Australia. He then claimed three more gold medals for the same events in Athens and he triumphed once again in those events in Beijing in 2009. Pearson also won the 2003 British National Championships, in which he competed against riders without disabilities.
- Paola Fantato (Archery, Italy) has won five gold, one silver and two bronze medals during five successive Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2004. Ms. Fantato has placed at each one of the Paralympic Games where she has competed.
They are just two of the past Paralympic Athletes. Every week, we will feature other Paralympic athletes until the Games begin. We look forward to cheering for all the amazing athletes competing this year.