ParalympicsGB team lauded as curtain comes down on exceptional GamesSubscribe
UK Sport 13 September 2012
An outstanding display by ParalympicsGB saw all major UK Sport targets achieved in spectacular style at London 2012.
In an impressive show of Great Britain’s strength in depth across the Paralympic disciplines, the team secured a total of 120 medals, including 34 golds – being only surpassed in terms of overall medals won by China.
The haul was within the medal range agreed with UK Sport and comfortably beyond the minimum target of 103 medals.
The other target – to see more sports represented in the medal tally at London than Beijing – was also attained, with 13 sports contributing to the overall total, compared to 11 in 2008.
Unfortunately, despite these remarkable achievements, the bumper medal haul did not translate into UK Sport and ParalympicsGB’s aspiration to retain second place in the medal table. Russia’s dramatic rise up the medal table in recent Games saw them leap into second, with 36 Gold medals and 102 medals overall – a reverse of the Olympic table finish, where GB pipped Russia, with more gold, but fewer overall medals.
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport said: “The outstanding performances of ParalympicsGB athletes have rounded off a truly remarkable summer of Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“We have a high performance system in the United Kingdom, for both Paralympic and Olympic sports which is up with the best in the world, and the achievements of ParalympicsGB athletes are a testament to careful planning, hard work, and the impact of strategic investment of National Lottery and Exchequer monies.
“Beijing was an outstanding Paralympics, and matching those performances was always going to be a tough challenge, so to deliver more medals than Beijing, across more sports is a truly fantastic result. The goal of second in the medal table was missed by the narrowest of margins – just two golds - but this only goes to demonstrate that the Paralympics world is an ever more competitive environment, with more nations investing in their Paralympic athletes and performance systems which can only be a good thing for Paralympic sport.
“The standards of performance, and the levels required to win at the Paralympic Games, are increasing rapidly, but if London tells us anything we know that with UK Sport’s high performance system, ParalympicsGB will continue to go from strength to strength to deliver at Rio in 2016 and beyond.”
Of the 18 sports that agreed targets with UK Sport through the Mission 2012 process, 11 hit at least their minimum performance target. Of these, four sports hit, or surpassed the maximum end of their performance range, with seven sports falling short, some of which by the very narrowest of margins.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport said: “I have always said that the Paralympic Games, and the Paralympians are the finest examples of the power of the human spirit. As we reflect on the Games, it is certainly fair to say that we have been treated to a demonstration of this in action.
“The performances of Paralympic athletes have been of the very highest standard, but more than that, London 2012 provided those moments of inspiration and those stories which will live in the hearts and minds of people for years to come. The British public has taken our Paralympians to their hearts; we have seen the power of a successful Great Britain team; and I believe this could be the beginning of something truly extraordinary in this country for Paralympic sport.
“I am immensely proud of what UK Sport has helped achieve for this country. London 2012 will be remembered as a great Paralympic Games with a great home team.”
Thanks to the strategic investment of £49million of National Lottery, Government and Team 2012 money for the London cycle, GB won more Paralympic medals than any other nation, bar China.
As well as the direct investment into the National Governing Bodies and National Lottery-funded Athlete Personal Awards (APAs), UK Sport offers a comprehensive range of support services to the high performance system.
The Research and Innovation team has worked closely with sports and athletes on equipment design, training technology, and athlete health and welfare support.
UK Sport’s Major Events team helped bring 118 international sporting competitions to the UK to allow athletes to get a taste of competing at the highest level in front of a home crowd. Post-London 2012, investment will increase to £4.5million annually, to ensure the UK remains a focal point for major sporting events.
Meanwhile, the UK Sport Coaching team has helped train and develop coaches working in the Paralympic disciplines, working with ParalympicsGB athletes. Peter Keen, Performance Special Adviser at UK Sport said: “The results at London 2012 reflect our standing in global Paralympic sport, but these Games have demonstrated clearly just how rapidly the Paralympic environment is changing, how competitive the Paralympic disciplines are becoming, and how seriously international rivals are taking Paralympic sport.
“It is satisfying that our medal haul was within the range we identified and proves our high performance system is working exceptionally well in tracking how sports and their athletes are developing against rivals, despite how difficult this can be in some sports which have a smaller international competition programme, making this benchmarking more difficult."
“It has required a significant step-up in performance from Beijing to retain our status as global force in Paralympic sport, and the challenge is there for all to see as we look towards Rio. However, we are already working on areas we know require development, and are as committed as ever to working with sports to drive improvements through the next cycle. We know there is so much more we can do and achieve, and are hugely motivated by the challenge of at least matching these performances in 2016.”