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The 2012 London Para Games End Quietly
Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
– OAKLAND, CA (BASN)As the Paralympics ended it seem that nobody took notice. That is a shame. These athletes spend just as much time or more as their counter-parts on the field.
After making another promise to televise the Para Games NBC pulled out at the start of these games. The London Games could have been seen on Youtube.com. The Disabled athletes probably felt like 2nd class citizens again. NBC and other Sports Networks should be informed that Americans want to see the Paralympics in 2016. English Channel 4 did it correctly, with live broadcast and had the best ratings of the summer. It was simply smashing as the Brits would say.
The main reason for NBC not broadcasting could have been that the American National Anthem was not play enough. The English were very proud of their athletes whither they won or lost. Maybe the Americans need to take a lession from London.
The United States ended these wonderful games receiving 96 medals 30 gold, 29 silver, and 37 bronze which landed the Americans in 6th place. The biggest upsetfor the Yanks happened to be the women’s 4X100 relays.The Americans won nearly half of their total number of medals in swimming. In 2008 the strong American team got 99 medals. It seems like the world has passed the Americans because the United States received 96 medals this year.
The Chinese mainland ran away with the medal count this year with a total of 231. 95 gold, 71 silver, and 65 bronze. The red and gold learned from the ’08 games in their homeland. The Russian Federation had 101 medals, 35 gold, 38 silver, and 28 bronze. These two governments financially support its disabled athletes, just as the French, English, and Germans, while the United States do not. It is beginning to show up in the medal count.
The Chinese and Brits dominated swimming the first week. Host Great Britain came in 2nd place overall with 118 medals, 33 gold, 42 silver, and 43 bronze.
The Chinese, Russians, and Great Britain also dominated in the track and field events with 110 metals. The Americans never mustarded a counter attack.
Maybe the United States should model their program after the Russian and Chinese.
In the Sitting Volleyball venue the men of Bosnia & Herzegovina defeated Iran 3-1 for the gold medal while the Chinese women defeated the United States 3-1. The Chinese women played tough defense in the second and third games. For those who are not familiar with this sport. The players sit on the floor and the net is 4 feet high. The rules are the same as Volleyball.
The sailing competition was rescheduled twice due to weather conditions. It was tough cramming in all of the matches before the end of the games with the weather not cooperating. The home team had the advantage. The Britain’s won gold, the Netherlands, and Australia rounded out the rest of the medal field.
The African countries, Nigeria and Egypt won 23 medals. Leading the way in power lifting both in the men and women divisions with 12 medals, Egypt garnered 11 medals. Iran came in a distant third with 6 medals. Namibia with only five athletes get silver. Kenya’s Samwel Kamani gets gold. South Africa leads the largest contingent of Athletes 65 and they have the most medals with 29. 8 gold, 12 silver, and 9 bronze led by sprinter Oscar Pistours and Swimmer Natalie Du Toit
The American Women’s basketball team played for the Bronze medal on Friday against the Netherlands and lost 71-47. The Men won the bronze medal beating The United Kingdom 61-48, a mild upset because the English team had been compared to the Canadian team on defense.
In Judo, the lone American star was Myles Porter in the 100 kilogram division.
France and Brazil battled for gold in 5-Side Football (soccer). Brazil won 2-0 with blazing speed and clean passing.
While in 7- Side Football, (soccer), which looks like their able-bodied counterparts with ambulatory athletes. Russia played the Ukraine for gold while the bronze medal was awarded to Iran or Brazil Sunday night
Jacqueline Freney of Australia the disabled female Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals setting Para and World records. The Aussies got 8 more swimming medals as Matthew Cowdrey received 5 gold, 2 silver, and one bronze.
The Goal ball women’s competition was regional semi finals affair, with China defeating Japan 1-0 to gain a gold medal. While Sweden defeated Finland 5-1 for the bronze.. This is modified floor hockey. China defeated a scrappy United States team 5-0 to reach the Semi’s and Finals.
On the men’s side, Finland defeated Turkey 2-0 to reach finals while Brazil defeated Lithuania 2-1 late Thursday afternoon. Finland crushed Brazil 8-1 with dominating mid-field play for the gold medal while Turkey defeated Lithuania 4-1 for the bronze medal.
American Jessica Long who should be called the new superstar set the world record in 100m free style. Jessica received 5 gold, 2 silver, and one bronze to become the star for the Yanks.
What a thrill for these young, strong adventurous athletes with different disabilities joining together in celebration of sports competition. It is too bad the United States did not get a chance to see it live, Maybe Rio will be different.
NEXT PART II- We will examine the lives of these athletes from around the world with high functional disbilities like, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Amputees, Double Amputees, Blind, Deaf, and Cerebral Palsy.
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod