The London 2012 Paralympic Games will take place between 29 August and 9 September and will see the Paralympic Movement return to the country of its spiritual birthplace.
They will be the biggest Paralympic Games ever featuring 4,280 athletes from 166 countries who will compete in 20 sports.
The London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games' (LOCOG) vision is that rather than making them different from previous Paralympics, they want to take the best aspects of previous Games and bring them together.
Mandeville, who is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement, is the Paralympic mascot and has been actively involved in Get Set, London 2012’s education programme.
Launched in September 2008, Get Set has seen over 24,000 UK schools (approximately 80 per cent of the total) undertake London 2012 related activity.
On 9 September 2010 tickets for the Paralympic Games went on sale. In the first three week ticket window more than 1 million tickets were sold, a record for the Paralympic Games. Already a number of sports are sold-out.
Ninety-five per cent of tickets are priced £50 and below and the vast majority of tickets are less than £20. Day passes, which allow spectators to take in more than one sport, have also been created for a number of venues.
The day before tickets went on sale London’s Trafalgar Square staged International Paralympic Day. More than 100 British and international athletes attended the 12 hour spectacular which involved demonstrations in 10 Paralympic sports
In addition to sprints along a purpose-built 50m track in front of the National Gallery involving the USA duo of April Holmes and Jerome Singleton along with France’s Marie Amelie LeFur and South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, British Prime Minister David Cameron challenged London Mayor Boris Johnson to a game of Wheelchair Tennis making worldwide media headlines.
Channel 4 has been appointed as UK host broadcaster and in the lead-up to the Games has screened a number of programmes designed to raise the profile on athletes and their sports.
BBC Radio 5 has been awarded the UK radio rights and is planning to broadcast live commentary and analysis from the Games.
The IPC has also appointed the Press Association as host national news agency to provide the most comprehensive coverage yet for events in the run up to London 2012 and the Paralympic Games themselves.
London 2012 has also secured the biggest commercial deal ever for a Paralympic Games with UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. The company boasts 21.5 million customers each week all of whom will be exposed to London 2012 Paralympic branding in the lead-up to, and during, the Games.
London was elected to be the host city for the 2012 Games on 6 July 2005, at the 117th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Singapore.
Following four rounds of voting by IOC members, London eventually triumphed by taking 54 votes from a possible 104. Other cities competing for the right to host the Games were Paris (France), New York (USA), Moscow (Russia) and Madrid (Spain).