Today I visited two events – the wheelchair basketball an the cycling track. Absolutely fabulous. The basketball match was Japan vs Canada. There was one player from Canadian team – Patrik Anserson (N:12) that was absolutely amazing. He scored more than 30 points in the first half. He was fighting under the baskets, speeding up, scoring from 3-rd point line, returning in defense, blocking the others, steeling the ball. Even more – he was chasing the ball when the game was stopped and was returning it to the referees. The movements of his body were so professional, so I thought he lost his legs when he was already playing basketball. So, I checked in the ATOS software – no, he lost his legs in a car accident when he was 9 and was practicing basketball only as disabled. You have to see the power and the passion that this man has for the sport. Despite a basketball, he is dealing professionally with music and studies in college in USA. Congratulations for the Japanese team trying to organize the defense against this Superhuman (see the C4 channel clips of Superhumans in Youtube). You have to see also the public…no words for express this.
The cycling was absolutely fantastic. I really can not imagine how these athletes without arms and legs are balancing on the bicycles, speeding up with one leg riding and beating records. I checked in the internet – the world record of the Chinese athlete who won C1-2-3 1km final yesterday is better than the Bulgarian national record. The British public is really fanatic about their Team GB.
Otherwise, it was a normal productive start that some of us know very well– testing in live system, new concept implementations, manual workarounds, new roles and tasks in the last 24 hours, some key people with red eyes sleeping in the office for 48 hours, greetings from the management with polite focus on the issues. Everything that we have seen tens of times in the last years. The important thing is that the system finally works and the Paralympic.org site is visited by more people in one day compared with the whole previous Paralympic games.
It was incredible, impressive, unbelievable. I was wondering what will be the message about the disabled people – tolerance, integration, acceptance? No, it was much stronger. It was “I Am What I Am”, an unique part of this universe and my place in it is as important as yours. Everybody has a potential and only with creativity, spirit and knowledge we can make this world a better place. The words of Sebastian Coe “Sport is about what you can do, what you can achieve, the limits you can reach, the barriers you can break. Sport shows what is possible. Sport refuses to take no for an answer” explained why this event is so important for the world. The most remarkable moments: the appearance of Stephen Hawking – the most famous physicist of our times; the presence of the Queen and the royal family (sitting about 20 rows far away from my place); the flying athletes, some of them in wheelchairs; the dancing bird; the Bulgarian team of 8 athletes – wish them luck!; Oscar Pistorius – the most famous disabled athlete who competed in the South Africa Olympic team; the Team GB fanatically applauded by 70 000 people; the torch arrival from the space; the fireworks; the flag of IPC escorted by the GB wheelchair basketball team; the thousands of volunteers who cheered the public. It was one of the unforgettable moments in the live. I am proud and thankful that I was there.
It’s impressive how the transport is organized. The are signs everywhere and another group of volunteers guiding the guests to the Olympic venues. The security checks at the entrance of the Olympic park are done by people in military uniforms. Another software of Atos checks the accreditation – the Atos logo is at every computer here. It took me about 40 minutes to find the working place within IBC. The building is huge and is now rebranded for the Paralympics. There are several booths everywhere with the famous Atos software for the official results.
Finally I found our office, located next to the BBC one. Ingo and Clara – our coordinators introduced me to the rest of the team and explained the idea of the Paralympicsport.tv project. We are going to provide 5 channels live stream of several events at the official site of the International Paralympic Committee (paralympic.org), that will be used also by some broadcasters all over the world. The other task is to split the live video stream into files and upload them into the Paralympicsport.tv channel of YouTube with all relevant titles, tags, etc. This will be done by our subteam of the “uploaders” in almost real time, so we have to watch the games carefully in order to catch the start and end time of each event. There are also other roles in the team – camera men, editors, commentators, technicians, etc. The team is really international – colleagues from Hong Kong (volunteers from Atos), Brazil, Maxico, Spain, Germany, UK…maybe I miss some country. So, it seems that it will be really interesting.
The arrival in London was on time. The first accreditation office was already in the transfer zone before the passport checks. 5 volunteers are processing the documents. Unfortunately only two passengers from our flight were traveling for the Paralympics. The real surprise were the tens of volunteers in the Heathrow arrival hall. They took the luggage and assorted me to another group of volunteers dealing with the cars. One of them drove me with a brand new BMW 520 with IPC logo to the student house where I am staying (the driver work is also a volunteer one). The lady explained that there were about 4000 cars like this one that will be sold with a great discount after the games. The lady was extremely proud with the performance of Team GB at the Olympics and was expecting the Paralympics with impatience. All London streets have huge posters with disabled athletes advertising the Games.
I just received information about the working place – it will be the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) located in the Olympic park. The info in the london2012.com says that it can host 20 000 journalists and is build for 10 weeks. Unbelievable! By the way, my role is Uploader of VoD (video on demand) and I will be part of the paralympicsport.tv team.
This is my first post in enspirit.me – a site about the things that make my spirit fly. Please read About section to understand what inspired me to start this blog. In a few words – on 27.08.2012 I will fly to London in order to joint the volunteer team of Paralympic Games. So, the first posts will be about everything that impressed me during the preparation.