London 2012 Paralympics Set to Begin in Nearly a Year

Approximately 4,200 athletes from 150 different
countries will kick off the 2012 Paralympic Games on August 29, 2012. A total of 503
events across 20 sports will take place across Great Britain during an 11-day

On Sept. 8, London’s Trafalgar Square will be home
to the fifth International Paralympic Day, which will enable the public to
learn more about the 20 Paralympic sports that will be a part of the games in

Athletes to watch include:

  • South African track sensation Oscar Pistorius, who could be competing
    in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. The double-amputee sprinter
    recently qualified for this year’s able-bodied World Championships in
    South Korea in the 400-m event. He will compete in the 100-m, 200-m and 400-m
    events at the Paralympic Games.
  • US athlete Mallory Weggemann, 22, who won eight gold medals and broke
    nine world records at last year’s International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships.
  • Great Britain’s Danielle Brown, 23, the reigning Paralympic gold
    medalist in the individual compound open for archery.
  • The Netherlands’ Esther Vergeer, who could claim her fourth
    consecutive Paralympic Games gold medal in wheelchair tennis. She has not lost
    a match since January 2003.

Many of the larger Paralympic events will take place in
the Olympic Park in Northeast London. Olympic Stadium, which will have a
capacity of 80,000, is surrounded by waterways on three sides, and spectators
will reach the venue via five bridges that link the site to the surrounding
area. It will host both the opening and closing ceremonies in addition to the
athletics events. All of the swimming events will take place at the Aquatics
Center, the gateway to Olympic Park, and the Basketball Arena will host the
wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby competitions.

Tickets for the Paralympic Games will go on sale on
Sept. 9. More than 1 million people have registered already. To sign up for
your tickets, visit

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