Paola’s Paralympics fever

By Paola Bassanese

It all started a few days ago with the Paralympics torch relay: I was fortunate to see the relay go past my work near Regent’s Park.

The weather was that of a typical British summer with plenty of rain and Counsillor Heather Johnson, Mayor of Camden, was in attendance.

Good thing I booked my Paralympics tickets a month ago as the Olympic Games brought so much excitement to London it would have been a shame not experiencing being at the Olympic park.


On 3rd September 2012 I attended the athletics at the Olympic stadium and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. In the eternal words of Paralympic Ghanian athlete Raphael Botsyo: “Go go go go get it!”.

That’s me at the Olympic park.


The Olympic village is simply stunning and even the flowers were worth taking pictures of.

The village is spread over several sites and I took a leisurely walk along the canal.




The athletics games were fantastic and I managed to see discus, long jump, wheelchair track, shot put.


Among the victory ceremonies that took place in the morning, it was interesting to see Oscar Pistorius’ podium moment with Brazilian gold medallist Oliveira. After the previous day’s controversy about prosthetic leg length, Pistorius had to issue a public apology to his adversary.


Unfortunately there was a man sitting next to me who ignored the games and kept making business calls on his mobile and when he wasn’t on a call he was replying to work emails. In the meantime his children were asking him what “cerebral palsy” was and he barked back that he was too busy.



In preparation for Rio 2016, I cheered Brazilian Paralympian Teresinha Guilhermina who won gold. She celebrated her victory dancing the samba. Possibly one of the best moments of the day.




Talking of best moments, David Weir’s victory celebration for his gold medal brought the house down and he got a well deserved standing ovation.