Lessons from the Paralympic Games

By Paola Bassanese

My personal Paralympics adventure is now over but the Games continue until Sunday 9th September 2012.

On 6th September 2012 I went to see the Paralympic swimming at the stunning Aquatics Centre.

Seeing the outstanding achievements of athletes who were not able to use their limbs and break swimming world records was thrilling. I was particularly impressed with He Junquan of China who has no arms and was the fastest in the pool during the backstroke heats.


Jessica Long from the USA set a new World Record and so did Russian Artem Pavlenko shortly followed by Yasuhiro Tanaka of Japan. Josef Graig, only 15 years old, qualified in the heats during the morning and later won gold for Team Paralympics GB.

After the swimming competition Anthony and I went to meet team Paralympics GB Archery’s psychologist Rebecca Symes who gave us her impressions of the Games.



She has been working extremely hard being available to support the athletes for long hours each day and she hadn’t even been to any games apart from the events her team was competing in.


A special mention is also due to the thousands of Games Makers, the volunteers who helped the London 2012 Games happen by working hard while keeping a huge smile on their face.

People from all over the world praised their efforts: watch the video.



Once again, seeing the Paralympians achieve greatness right in front of you is fantastically inspiring.


What I really like about the Paralympics is the sense of inclusion: age, body shape, disabilities are irrelevant. It’s all about achievement.


Read also: A day at the Paralympics Games

Paola’s Paralympics Fever

Go go go go get it: a message from Raphael Botsyo