The London Paralympics, 2012, took place from the 29th August to the 9th September.
The Symbol of these Paralympics (see logo, above) was a stylised representation of "2012". The main logo did away with the traditional 5 interlocked rings (there are single colour versions which do have the rings) and instead had the Paralympic agitos.
Like the Olympics, the Paralympics also had a torch relay which culminated at the commencement of the Games on the 29th August.
150 nations competed in these Paralympics. Some of the countries competing were Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland. One country competing in their first ever Paralympics was the Solomon Islands.
During the Paralympics, twenty sports were represented. For the first time since the 2000 Summer Paralympics, athletes with intellectual disabilities were included. Some of the sports these athletes competed in were Athletics, Swimming and Table Tennis.
All events that appear at the Olympics are represented in the Paralympics with minor alterations due to the disabilities of the athletes. Three sports which are included in the Paralympics and not at the Olympics are Goalball, Boccia, and Wheelchair Rugby.
Goalball is a paralympic game which is specifically created for blind athletes, whether they are partially or completely blind.
Boccia is played by athletes that are wheelchair bound. Boccia was first played by athletes with cerebral palsy but now the game includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills.
Wheelchair Rugby, known as “Murder ball” in America, was developed in Canada in 1977. The rules of wheelchair rugby are based on other sports, including basketball, ice hockey, and handball. It is a contact sport, and can be very violent. Physical contact between wheelchairs is an integral part game.
All events at the Paralympics have different classes or classification depending on the severity of their disability. There are six disability categories. They are amputee, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired and les autres. Les autres is the category for athletes with a range of conditions which result in locomotive disorders which don’t fit into one of the other categories.
In the twenty sports there were 499 gold medals up for grabs. Athletics had the most gold medals with 166 available, and swimming had the second highest amount of gold medals to be won with a total of 148.
These were the best Paralympics for Ireland since the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea, winning 13 gold, 11 silver, and 18 bronze. For its efforts the Team was presented with a People of the Year Award in September 2012.
On 31 August Bethany Firth competing in her first Paralympics, won a gold medal in the S14 100 metres backstroke final.
On 1 September, Paralympics Ireland celebrated one of their most successful days at any Paralympic Games by earning three gold medals. Of these gold medals, two were world record breaking performances. Jason Smyth retained his Men's 100 metres T13 title, by breaking his own world record with a time of 10.46 seconds, making him the fastest Paralympian in the world over 100 metres. The same day, Michael McKillop set a new world best of 1.57.22 in the Men's 800 metres T32 race, also retaining his win in Beijing.
On 2 September, Catherine Walsh accompanied by pilot Francine Meehan, won Paralympics Ireland's first ever cycling medal of any colour at the Paralympic Games.
For full details of Ireland's results go to this Wikipdeia page.