Paralympic facts 残奥会常识
Vocabulary: The Paralympic Games 残奥会
The game is up for the 2012 Olympics and the Paralympic Games now take the stage. But what are the differences between the two?
Firstly, the Olympic rings are not used in the Paralympics, which are instead represented by the red, blue and green agitos and by the motto 'Spirit in motion'.
Did you know that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities? The two Games have only been held together since 1988 - previously they'd been hosted in completely different locations.
Paralympic athletes undergo a vigorous classification process which depends on variations of disability. For instance, swimming has 14 classes: S1-S10 cover physical impairment, S11-S13 are for athletes with visual impairments and S14 is for those with an intellectual disability.
The Paralympic versions of some sports are completely different to their Olympic counterparts. Blind football, for instance, is a whole new ball game: the ball used is less bouncy and contains ball bearings so that it makes a noise when it moves.
And what is the role of a 'tapper'? Tappers alert blind swimmers that the end of the pool is close by tapping the swimmer on the head with a long pole that has a ball on the end. This ensures the swimmer can swim confidently without being afraid of a crash at the end of the pool. Blind and partially sighted runners, on the other hand, can be assisted by a guide who is attached to them with a rope. The guide must be careful not to cross the finishing line before the athletes, as this crime is punishable by disqualification.
Lastly, the list of banned substances is the same for Olympic athletes and Paralympians. If an athlete needs additional medication, they must apply for an exemption. The director of operations at UK Anti-Doping, Nicole Sapstead, says: "Obviously there are athletes with spinal injuries and they need pain relief. But mostly it is the same as the Olympics - things like asthma and diabetes."
Now that you're ahead of the game as far as Paralympic facts are concerned, enjoy the action!
Glossary 词汇表 （点击单词收听发音）