Following the incredible success of the London 2012 Olympics, supported by the UK lottery draw, we are all feeling a little deflated. The excitement of the games caught many by surprise and the events caused excitement rarely seen before. Now it has all gone away and we are left wondering what exactly happened.
But of course it is not over yet. In less than a week the London 2012 Paralympic Games begin and athletes have already started to arrive for the events. In the same way that the British National Lotteryprovided funding for the Olympic facilities, the Paralympians will benefit from the same money.
Obviously the facilities are largely the same as those for the Olympics but more money has been provided by the UK lottery draw to ensure the Paralympics will be as much a success. As with the TeamGB Olympians, an extensive number of Paralympic athletes have benefitted from lottery funding. Indeed, there has been little or no difference in the support given to athletes no matter in which competition they compete.
Ellie Simmonds won two gold medals in swimming during the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 whilst still at school and has raked up a drawer full of medals since. She is expected to add to that haul in London. Supported by the UK lottery draw, Ellie said, “We’re all really excited at the prospect of competing in London and it makes you want to stand behind the blocks and hear the roar of the that crowd.”
Peter Keen of UK Sport summed up the feeling of the athletes when he said, “National Lottery funding continues to make a life-changing difference at all levels of sport, giving everyone the chance to fulfill their potential. No one has contributed more to our athletes than National Lottery players.”
So if you have been playing the British National Lottery you can feel proud that you have contributed to the Paralympic Games. Now we can give the athletes our full support at the Games – I hope you will be watching the events and shouting your support as much as I will!
Read more about the British Paralympic team at www.Paralympics.org.uk.