Adapted Vehicle Hire Blog Updates: Countdown to the Paralympics begins!
A cauldron is lit in Trafalgar Square. Disabled and able-bodied Scouts light flames on the UK’s highest peaks. London’s airports are flooded with a second wave of athletes from 165 countries across the world. Sportsmen and women make the final tweaks to their performance ahead of an event they’ve spent the last four years preparing for. The order is given to lower a giant emblem composed of red, blue and green ‘Agitos’ – symbols of movement in the shape of an asymmetrical crescent – from Tower Bridge.
It can only be the countdown to the Paralympics…
With just five days to go before the second stage of the London 2012 Games and a record 2.5 million tickets having been put on sale, anticipation is certainly building. Thousands of athletes arrived at London’s airports on Wednesday, with Heathrow experiencing its busiest Paralympic day.
More athletes than ever before will be participating, with 4,200 competitors (compared to 3,951 in Beijing in 2008) expected to participate in 503 medal events across 20 Paralympic sports.
And it’s not only a chance for sportsmen and women to shine. After the four national Paralympic flames were ignited on the UK’s four highest peaks on Wednesday, 580 specially nominated torchbearers will carry the Paralympic flame in a 24-hour relay from Stoke Mandeville — the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, in southern England — to arrive at London’s Olympic Stadium on August 29.
Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH) wishes all the athletes well, and in particular will be watching the progress of 22-year-old swimmer Matt Whorwood. Matt, who is sponsored by AVH, will be competing in up to five events including his specialism, the 400m freestyle. He won Bronze in this event at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and is hoping for even greater things this year.
Prime Minister David Cameron attended the ceremonial lighting of the Paralympic cauldron at Trafalgar Square, marking the launch of the Paralympic torch relay. He said: “After a fortnight of Olympics withdrawal symptoms, it’s time to dust off the GB flags and get ready for two more weeks of spectacular sport. We’re going to have more of those moments that will bring us together and make us proud.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves and eagerly await the Games getting underway on Wednesday!
Specialist rental car firm Adapted Vehicle Hire provides a range of vehicles and services, including wheelchair accessible vehicles, MPVs, and cars fitted with adaptations enabling disabled motorists to stay on the road. Also check out I-drive, which provides a whole host of information to help disabled people stay as independent as possible, including via participation in Sports & Leisure.