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SBD Global/August 27, 2012/Events and Attractions
Paralympic Games Organizers Accused Of Discriminating Wheelchair Users
Published August 27, 2012
NO ENTRY: Also in London, Robert Booth wrote that the organizers of the Paralympic Games "have apologised to 3,000 volunteer cast members for not allowing them to invite friends and family to dress rehearsals for Wednesday's sold-out Opening Ceremony." Volunteers who appeared in Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony for the Olympics "were given two tickets each to allow loved ones to watch them perform in full dress rehearsals." Performers in the Paralympic equivalent have been upset not to receive the same opportunity. Some volunteers are considering drawing up a petition to demand tickets to Sunday and Monday's rehearsals for the show called "Enlightenment," which will open with a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots (GUARDIAN, 8/24).
THE MOOD OF THE NATION: The GUARDIAN's Owen Gibson reported that London Mayor Boris Johnson "caught the mood for all those involved in the Games." Johnson said, "For some people it will be even more exciting and some people will be switched on in a way they weren't to the Olympic Games." Even before the "giddy success of Team GB at the Olympics turbocharged demand," organizers sold more Paralympic tickets than for any other Games in history. More than 2.3 million tickets "have been sold, with around 200,000 more due to be drip-fed on the website as venue configurations are finalised." Around "half of those tickets will have been sold by the time 116 teams travel through the night to deliver the Paralympic flame" from Stoke Mandeville to Stratford for Wednesday's Opening Ceremony. LOCOG has driven demand by offering good value tickets and encouraging families and large groups -- the London Games organizers "will raise just £25M ($39.5M) from Paralympic ticket sales" compared with more than £500M ($790.5M) from the Olympics -- but the very fact that everyone who is there has paid to get in is a first for the Paralympics (GUARDIAN, 8/25).