Another glorious night

The things are getting more and more intense and I could not manage them properly, so some updates are coming later. Today was another victorious night at London 2012 Paralympics. I visited for the first time the Aquatic Centre at the Olympic park. Very interesting architecture and construction. The two “tribunes” from both sides of the pool are so steep that you can not see the last row. There is no visual contact between the two sides, between them is the ceiling of the pool, so the audience can see just the water and the sportsmen. There is a great acoustic and the public is fantastic – cheering everyone, applauding each record. And the records are beaten at every new final. The swimmers from the highest disability classes are really unbelievable. They can not walk, need support to enter the pool but reach such a speed in the water. I remembered that our great olympic champion Tanya Bogomilova is teaching impaired children in swimming. I wish some of them to qualify for some of the next Games….otherwise we will continue listening only “God save the Queen”. Actually it was not only Team GB – there are a lot of excellent swimmers from Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia, China, USA, Netherlands. These are the countries with the biggest teams in the Games. There is a very interesting story about the Ukrainian Paralympic Movement that I will tell in the next posts.

I watched today the end of the Football 5-a (“Blind Football”) match Brazil-Argentina. You can imagine the emotions at and around the field. They just explode when the game is stopped. The match is played at full silence and only during the stops the public cheers the teams. The football players are either absolutely blind or play with something like “domino” on the eyes to ensure no visibility. Only goal keepers can see. The ball has bells inside, so the players understand it’s position by the sound,fight for it, take it, lead it and shot it at the door. There is a guide (he can see) behind the door who shouts to the players about the position of the other ones. They have unique orientation – the players know at each moment where they are on the field – sometimes they run towards the side walls of the field and stop few centimeters before crashing over it. The technique of leading and keeping the ball is terrific. The match finished 0:0 and there were penalties. One of the blind players of Brazil managed to score a goal (the door is like a handball one) and Brazil qualified for the final. There were lot of Argentinean tears afterwards…Sorry for them.

The end of the sport-day was Athletics. Not a single empty space at the stadium – even in the official sectors. The GB team runners rather fly than run in front of this public. Every time there is a GB runner in the final, he manages to win the medal. The traditional heroes – David Weir and Hannah Cockcroft won their races as expected. But the great sensation was Jonnie Peacock who won against Oscar Pistorious, Oliveira (200 m winners) and the famous USA runner Richard Browne. I believe that the audience shout after this win was heard kilometers far away. Tomorrow I have to cut this final and upload it separately – I bet it will beat the previous sensation…


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