Germany’s Heinrich Popow, the reigning 100m (T42) and Long Jump (F42) world champion, insists the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be about more than just sport.
“The Olympics have too many stars. They’re just coming for the competition and going,” Popow told www.paralympicsport.tv. “We, the Paralympic athletes, are there the whole time and feel the spirit and can bring the spirit to the visitors.”
In his third Paralympic Games, Popow expects an event like never before, and this time around, he is eyeing what has become an elusive Paralympic gold.
The 28-year-old won three bronze medals at Athens 2004 and a silver medal at Beijing 2008. After coming away victorious in both the Long Jump and 100m at January’s International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Popow will be a favourite to medal next year.
He just finished a two-week break and is now beginning his final training stretch for London 2012, where he will face the likes of France’s Clavel Kayitare and Japan’s Atsushi Yamamoto in the sprint event.