The Paralympic Games have completed their 7th day, with only three more days to go. It doesn't seem like over a week since the Opening Ceremony.
But here we are, more than 200 Gold medal having been won, and there's a complete celebratory air over the Games. In that kind of environment, it is easy to underplay or underestimate the hard work disabled athletes have put in to get their medals. They make it look so easy, yet it must be more difficult than being able bodied because one starts from a position of trying to excel with fewer resources. But they have not shrunk from the challenge, with some outstanding heroes emerging as a result.
The Royal Mail has also issued the Paralympic winners' stamps which are available to be bought (for locals) and here (for overseas) on this website. But they do make a beautiful collection in the way they are presented.
The TOP INDIVIDUAL MEDAL WINNERS
Swimming seems to be the popular sport where athletes have won more medals. Australia's Jacqueline Freney is way ahead of everyone else, with an amazing haul of 6 gold medals, making 2012 Paralympics her own personal Games of achievement. Surprisingly, even though China tops the medal table with a commanding lead, none of its athletes is at the top of the Individual multi-medal table, suggesting a great all-round performance by all its participants. For the host country, Sophie Christiansen and Sarah Storey lead the British Team with three medals each.
The TOP TEN are:
FRENEY Jacqueline, Swimming (6 Gold Medals) - Australia
LONG Jessica, Swimming (4) - USA
BOKI Ihar, Swimming (4) - Belarus
SAVCHENKO Oxana, Swimming (4) - Russian Federation
COWDREY Matthew, Swimming (3) - Australia
CHRISTIANSEN Sophie, Equestrian (3) - Great Britain
DIAS Daniel, Swimming (3) - Brazil
GONCHAROVA Margarita, Athletics (3) - Russian Federation
PROLOGAIEVA Nataliia, Swimming (3) - Ukraine
STOREY Sarah, Cycling Road (3) - Great Britain
YANG Yang, Swimming (3) China
These outstanding performers have emerged as stars in their own right, hoisting the Paralympic flag with pride and mastery of their sport. Looking to hte future, Daniel Dias, of Brazil, and his team mates have been giving a taste of what is to come in 2016 when the Games are held in Brazil. It should be very interesting how they perform in front of their home crowd, with Great Britain's team currently getting a lift from its ardent supporters to be in third place on the medal table, behind Russia and China.
2012 PARALYMPIC GAMES MEDAL LEADERS (Day 7)
(71 countries - 43% of all teams competing - have shared the 273 Gold medals so far)
1. China 159 Total (60Gold, 50Silver, 49Bronze)
2. Russian Federation 73 (28Gold, 25Silver 20Bronze)
3. Great Britain 92 (25Gold, 36Silver, 31Bronze)
4. Ukraine 59 (22Gold, 17Silver, 20Bronze)
5. Australia 61 (22Gold, 16Silver, 23Bronze)
USA remains in 6th position with a new total of 64 medals (21Golds, 18Silver, 25Bronze)
DAY 8 ACTIVITY (14 sporting events)
Athletics (Gold Medal Event)
Cycling Road (Gold Medal)
Sailing (Gold Medal)
Shooting (Gold Medal)
Sitting Volleyball (Gold Medal)
Swimming (Gold Medal)
Table Tennis (Gold Medal)
Wheelchair Fencing (Gold Medal)
Wheelchair Tennis (Gold Medal)
STARS WHO COULD SHINE ON DAY 8 (Courtesy London2012.com)
* South African Oscar Pistorius is back in the limelight in the men’s 100m - T44, after powering his country to victory in the relay. it promises to be a closely-contested race, with a number of athletes having a realistic chance of claiming gold. Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock, who has run the fastest time this season over the distance and is the current world record holder, will be hoping home advantage can play its part and help him to gold in his only event of the Games.
* Also fancying his chances will be reigning world champion Jerome Singleton of the USA, along with countrymen Blake Leeper and Richard Browne, as well as South African Arnu Fourie.
* In the field events, Great Britain’s Dan Greaves will aim to improve on his Beijing 2008 bronze medal in the men’s Discus Throw - F44. However, the 29-year-old will have to overcome the considerable challenge of reigning Paralympic Games champion Jeremy Campell, whose season’s-best is more the 5.5m better than Greaves.
* The Netherlands take an unassailable lead into the final day of the Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar) event, but there could be a real battle for the remaining medal positions, with Germany, Norway and France among the nations aiming for a step on the podium.
* Australia, the USA and Great Britain are all guaranteed to receive medals in the Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18), but will be battling to decide which nation gets what colour.
* The Host Nation is best-placed to take gold in the Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR), with sole female competitor Helena Lucas taking a healthy lead into the final day of competition.
London2012.com (For round up and great pictures)
Paralympic.org (for live stream videos, athletes bios, results and all the relevant information)