Games of the XIV Paralympics
30 August - 10 September 2012
The largest Paralympics
The fourteenth Summer Paralympic Games were the largest Paralympics to date and it was with a renewed interest that the spectators, in the venues and watching on television, became gripped by the athletic performances of those competing. This was in no small part due to a stunning promotional campaign which aimed to and succeeded in invigorating the public perception of the Paralympics.
The Stoke Mandeville Games
Those promoting the Games were also keen to emphasize the fact that precursor to the Paralympics had been held in the village of Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, England in 1948 coinciding with the second occasion London had held the Summer Olympics. This event was organised for disabled British veterans of the Second World War and it was in memory of this that the mascot for the 2012 Paralympic Games was named Mandeville.
The expectations of all involved with organising the 2012 Paralympics were surpassed, breaking records for ticket sales and propelling the profile of the Paralympics into the mainstream.
The venue for the Equestrian events was the picturesque Greenwich Park located in south-east London. This proved to be an ideal location; the surprisingly clement weather and the stunning views of London added a visual intensity to what sportingly was an incredible success on every level.
These Games also saw the most robust testing programme ever put in place at an Olympic and Paralympic Games. The laboratory tested up to 400 samples a day for more than 240 prohibited substances and all equestrian sport related tests returned negative.
An evolving media landscape
Branded the first #Socialympics, every aspect of London 2012 was “liked”, “tweeted”, “shared”, “hashtagged”, “tweeted”, “twitpic’d”, “flickr’d”, “instagram’d”, “foursquared”, “tumblr’d”, and the list goes on.
The London Games heralded a new era in Olympic and Paralympic coverage, showcasing athletes from around the world before #RecordAudiences. Broadcast partners made more sport available on more media platforms, to more people, than ever before. For the first time, digital coverage exceeded broadcast coverage.