In today’s world everything is about growth. That is how economists seem to measure success. If that is the case then the London 2012 Paralympic Games truly were an outstanding success.
If you look at the number of competing nations at the games, there were 136 in Athens in 2004, 148 in 2008 in Beijing and in London 164 nations taking part, 15 appearing at their first Paralympic Games.
That would tend to indicate that there would have been more athletes in London, which was the case. There were 4,294 competitors in London in 2012 as opposed to just over 4,200 in Beijing – an official figure is hard to locate – and 3806 in Athens.
Yet the area that had the most growth was pre-sold tickets, with only 1000 pre-sold in Athens, 5000 in Beijing and a staggering 2.3million in London.
If Sydney put the Paralympic Games on the map, London has definitely taken it to another level, and Rio will have a hard act to follow. One of the key reasons for London’s success was the pricing of the tickets. Had they made other avenues to purchase tickets rather than just the internet, they could have even exceeded this figure. Certainly releasing tickets on line between midnight and 5am – as one ticket manager advised – was rather foolish, as very few normal people are on line at that time of night!
While on the subject of growth, there were 500 Paralympians drug tested at the Games as opposed to 200 in Beijing with weightlifters being the most tested.
11.2 million British people watched the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games more than three times the number who watched the opening ceremony in Beijing. However that could well have been down to the time difference and the fact that Great Britain was the host nation, even so it was great that so many people were interested enough to tune in.
Finally, one figure that has not been finalised but after just five days of the Paralympic Games organisers were concerned that the supply of 2,100 condoms was not going to be enough, and so another order was placed for the same amount to last the athletes through until the end of the games! Where do they get the energy!