Catching up: Part 2 We were there! Paralympics 2012
The husband’s parents had purchased tickets for us, my brother-in-law and themselves. We arrived 3 or 4 hours before the 7pm entry.
It was a lovely, warm day in London and it seemed everybody else had the same idea (arriving early, that is) so we just wandered around, took lots of photos and shared them on instagram (You should be able to check them out here, just scroll down far enough 😉 ) and then decided to have lunch.
All the stands sell the same drinks at the same price which I think is a good idea. A 500ml bottle of still water was £1.60. Too much but ok for where we were. I had a tomato+mozzarella pizza, 10inch, £7.50. Yummy but oh so overpriced. Wow.
After lunch we just hung around, checking out the area and enjoying the glorious sunshine.
Lime met a horse and there seemed to be no fear when she touched its nose. 🙂
Come 7pm we finally made our way to the stadium, Entry B. We had to go through another ticket check after the initial one that got us into the park.
Yes, Lime handled the ticket check all by herself. The lady was very impressed. 😀 Me too, hehe. The guy in the line next to her said: He’s a trouble maker, he is. Yeah, uhm..not really. ;/
Once inside, I needed the loo (Note to the Olympic park architects: they’re rubbish: too small, no space to maneuver and generally just grubby, ew. I had to change Lime on the floor in one of the cubicles because, to this day, we haven’t figured out, whether there were any Baby changing stations or not). Also, at one point later on my brother-in-law (his name’s Mike btw) and I went out to get some drinks and snacks but omg the queue for the coffee was just insane! We skipped that and just got snacks and water. Ugh. ><
The stadium seemed small but at certain angles huge. When we walked in, they were playing Coldplay’s Paradise which just fitted amazingly well. I swear, the crowd was singing along. Goosebumps. All throughout the games the music was fantastic, actually. If they had a CD I’d buy it.
We saw a lot of great stuff that night with lots of Paralympic as well as World records. (Here’s a view of the schedule that evening: View 1,View 2, View 3 and View 4) And I gotta tell you, it was absolutely amazing. I had not expected this event to be so thrilling and exciting. The crowd roared when the Brits where on as well as when someone did a great job or got their medals. There was respectful silence when needed (like in the T11 etc races which is Visual Impairment or the Men’s 4x100m Relay T11/T13 race). My favourite moment was when T Guilhermina won the 100m T11 for Brazil, what a character! 😀
Here’s a guide to the classifications for Athletics, which is what we saw:
In athletics, the sport classes consist of a prefix T (for track) or F (for field) and a number.
T/F11-13: Visual impairment. The three sport classes 11, 12 and 13 are allocated to athletes with varying degrees of visual impairment, with sport class 11 indicating athletes with the lowest vision. All athletes in theT11 sport class run with a guide runner and are blindfolded. Athletes in sport class T12 may also choose to run with a guide.
T/F 20: Intellectual impairment. Athletes in this class are diagnosed with intellectual impairment and meet sport-specific minimum disability criteria in 1,500m, long jump or shot put respectively. Athletes with an intellectual impairment are limited in regards to intellectual functions and their adaptive behaviour, which is diagnosed before the age of 18 years.
T32-38 and F31-38: The 30s sport classes are allocated to athletes with athetosis, ataxia and/or hypertonia. The impairments typically affect the ability to control legs, trunk, arms and hands. The lower the number is, the more significant the activity limitation. Athletes in the sport classes31-34 compete in a seated position; those in the sport classes 35-38show a better function compete standing.
F40: Athletes with short stature compete in this sport class.
T/F42-46: These sport classes are designated for athletes with limb deficiencies. In the sport classes 42-44 the legs are affected, and in the sport classes 45-46 the arms are affected. All athletes compete standing.
T51-54 and F51-58: The 50s sport classes only include athletes competing in a wheelchair, with a lower number indicating a higher activity limitation. Athletes in classes T51-52 have activity limitations in both lower and upper limbs. Unlike athletes in the sport classes T51-53, athletes competing in T54 have partial trunk and leg function.
For field events, the groups are more differentiated. Athletes in sport classes F51-54 have limited shoulder, arm and hand functions and no trunk or leg function. Athletes in the class F54 have full function in their arms and hands. Trunk and leg function increases through sport classesF55-58.