One year to go to the London Paralympics
Monday 05 September 2011
Athletes, volunteers and spectators with a learning disability gear up for the Olympics and Paralympics
The UK is preparing to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time since 1948. The Olympics will take place in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012, and the Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September 2012.
For athletes with a learning disability, the Paralympics will have the added significance of offering their first opportunity to compete since 2000.
A ban on people with a learning disability competing was imposed after the Sydney Paralympic Games, when it emerged that ten players in the gold-medal-winning Spanish basketball team did not have a learning disability. In November 2009, the International Paralympic Committee voted to reverse it.
People with a learning disability will also take part in the Olympics and Paralympics as volunteers. Mencap is aware of a number of people with a learning disability who applied to volunteer and have selection events coming up.
Olympics tickets were allocated this summer and applications for two million Paralympics tickets will be accepted between 9 September and 26 September.
Ahead of the ticket launch, International Paralympic Day will be hosted in Trafalgar Square, London, on 8 September, with demonstrations of a range of Paralympic sports.
The organisers of the Games plan to install Changing Places toilets in the Olympic and Paralympic venues, and have announced additional services for disabled people, including free blue badge parking spaces at all venues, accessible shuttle buses, spectator information in accessible formats, and free loans of manual wheelchairs and scooters.
Seb Coe, chair of LOCOG, said: “We want to ensure that disabled spectators have as great a Games experience as anyone else and we are committed to providing services and facilities that meet all accessibility requirements.”
Go to www.london2012.com