Winter Paralympics 2010

Imagine my irritation when, after looking forward to watching the opening ceremony of the winter Paralympic games tonight, I realised it’s not being shown on any accessible TV channel in the UK. For many of you I’m sure you don’t need to picture the frustration as you’re thinking the same thing!

But all is not lost… as the events proceed Paralympic Sport TV will be streaming the games- phew! You may be a little aggrivated by the hiccups in reception and frequent advertisements. But it also gives some inspirational accounts of athletes stories, and details of the games from the competitors themselves – definitely worth the watch.

Paralympics 2010 - image -

So for those of you unsure what events our 12 strong British Paralympic team will be involved in, they are as follows:

Alpine skiing – where competitors ski down vertical drops ranging from 120 to 800 metres, at speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

Cross-country skiing – participants ski over distances between 2.5 kilometres to 20 kilometres. “Racers use two basic techniques in cross-country: classical, where the skis move parallel to each other through machine-groomed tracks in the snow, and free technique where skiers propel themselves in a manner similar to speed skating, pushing off with the edge of their skis.” (The official Vancouver 2010 website explained that so much better than I could of!). There is also a relay version of this event.

Biathlon – this combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting where skiers shoot targets from short or long distances depending on their discipline.

These 3 sports categorise the skiers in 3 ways- visually impaired, sitting or standing. “Visually impaired skiers use the same equipment as able-bodied skiers but ski with a guide. Standing skiers are skiers with a locomotive disability and who are able to use the same equipment as able-bodied skiers. Sit-skiers usually have no use of their legs (paraplegic) and use a special made sit-ski (a specially built chair attached to a pair of skis).” (Vancouver 2010)

Ice hockey – varies from the non-Paralympic version only in so far as participants skate on boards which have two blades, and instead of one stick they use two; one to propel themselves along the ice, and the other to hit the puck.

Wheelchair curling – again very similar to the Olympic version, except no sweeping is involved, thus making the precision of the throw all the more important.

For all the details take a look at the official Vancouver 2010 website, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), or the British Paralympic Association.

I hope you enjoy!


March 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Sport.


  1. robwheelchairman replied:

    I find it disgusting the BBC are allowed to carry on with this attitude towards disabled sports.

    Do you have msn or skype?

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