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193 days until the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies (165 ’til the Olympics) – Man becomes Mountain

August 30, 2009
Man becomes Mountain - Paralympic Emblem

Man becomes Mountain - Paralympic Emblem

‘Man becomes Mountain’ is the unofficial title of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Emblem.  As with Ilanaaq, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Emblem, there is a lot of things said with this simple design by Karacters Design Group in Vancouver.

The Emblem is dominated by a dynamic human form in the blue and green colours of the Westcoast and Vancouver 2010.  The green represents our lush coastal forests, the dark blue our splendid mountains and the light blue our beautiful sky.  ‘Man becomes Mountain’ represents the inner strength it takes for the athletes to reach this  ultimate point, the Paralympic Winter Games.

The Paralympic Games run from March 12 – 21, 2010.  They will feature Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, and Wheelchair Curling for a total of 55 medal events.  1,700 Paralympic athletes and team officials will take part in the Winter Games.  The Paralympic Torch Relay will be starting March 3, 2010 in Ottawa and will make a ten day trek across Canada for the Opening Ceremonies at BC Place on March 12.  The Torch is the same design as the Olympic Torch but a steely blue in colour (the Olympic torch is white), with the Paralympic Torch Relay Emblem  ‘Spark becomes Flame’ (the Emblem is a first in 22 years of Paralympic Torch relays) engraved on it.  The Torch will be carried by Torch Bearers in a dominantly blue uniforms, matching the Torch itself.

Spark becomes Flame - Paralympic Torch Relay Emblem

Spark becomes Flame - Paralympic Torch Relay Emblem

Paralympic Alpine skiing Gold medallist Lauren Woolstencroft with the Paralympic Torch

Paralympic Alpine skiing Gold medallist Lauren Woolstencroft with the 2010 Paralympic Torch

I spent parts of the last week volunteering for the Americas Cup Wheelchair Basketball tournament in Richmond at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  The Americas Cup is the qualifying tournament for the Americas Zone to qualify for entry to the 2010 World Championships in Birmingham, England.  Now, if you haven’t seen wheelchair basketball, you don’t know what you’re missing.  These guys can turn on a dime!  They can dribble and race across the court full speed throwing baskets from nearly anywhere.  To me it looked a bit like a combination of basketball with bumper cars, but I’ve never seen anyone nearly so skilled with a bumper car!  I believe that Canada and the USA (silver and gold in this tournament respectively) had already pre-qualified for the World Championships, so bronze was destined to be the big prize for most of the teams, and it went to Mexico.  Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, and Venezuela also competed.

I haven’t had much chance to watch Paralympic athletes before, and many of these guys competed in the Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing 2008 and will be aiming to make it onto the team for London 2012.  I am surprised I haven’t seen more Paralympic sport, because it is well worth watching.  These guys (and I’m sure the girls too, sorry, basing this on the basketballers) have mad skills!  Oh, and I did see a bit of our Canadian Ice Sledge Hockey the other night in Calgary, and that is also a heck of a lot of fun to watch (wish I saw more, I was stuck in line, drat!).  I was looking forward to the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics before, but my experiences this week have really got me excited to get out and see some events.  I’m sure that it will be sporting at its highest level and well worth going to the events if you have the opportunity!  So go!  The next round of tickets for the Paralympics will be going on sale in November!

Thank you and merci!

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