Many people, usually the athletes, describe the Paralympics as a roller-coaster of emotions.

In the privileged position of reporting on a Games, you see those emotions played out on a daily basis and you can't help but be affected by what you see unfold in front of you.

Whether it is seeing superb human achievements, triumph over adversity or just plain grit and determination, each Games has so many memorable moments.

We asked some of the BBC team covering the Games about their moments to remember from the Beijing Paralympics and we would love to know what yours were.

GB's wheelchair basketball team celebrate winning bronze

Ade Adepitan (BBC commentator and former Paralympic basketball player)

Although Canada's Patrick Anderson's huge three-pointer against the USA in the men's wheelchair semi-final was a classic Paralympic moment, nothing could surpass the Great Britain men's team's victory over the USA in the bronze medal play-off for great drama.

They finally played team basketball and to watch it was fabulous. After all they had gone through in the tournament, the emotion of winning bronze was clear to see.

It was a real team performance and it was the best they had played all tournament. It was a particularly emotional moment for Andy Blake, who retired after the game and he got a tremendous ovation at the end.

Marc Woods (BBC commentator and former Paralympic swimmer)

There were a lot of good swims throughout the meet but the one I enjoyed commenting on most was the men's 4x100m freestyle relay because it was the event I had been involved in over the last two Games and I understand it and I know what it feels like.

The four GB guys (Matt Walker, Graham Edmunds, Dave Roberts and Rob Welbourn) all did a great job and what was impressive was that if they had done the times they had done in their individual events, it wouldn't have been enough for gold.

All of them went faster than the individual races because they were part of a team and that was what won a gold medal and allowed them set a world record en route.

Peter White (BBC Disability Affairs correspondent)

It's bizarre I know, but my best Paralympics sporting memory was achieved watching the telly. You see, as a blind sports fan, my natural way to enjoy sport is through someone else's commentary. So although I've come around 8,000 miles to be in Beijing, I'm often unable to follow the action very well in a screaming, yelling crowd.

But when David Weir set off on his third final - the T54 800m - with no gold to his name, I was in our newsroom, with a bunched of hard-nosed sports reporters, and if you think they are just hacks who don't really care about the events they cover, you should have been there.

Like me, they'd been touched by David's rather tortured progress through the games, exasperated by his medical reports, and willing him to smile - just once! Having even mentioned the possibility of five golds, they would pursue him like an albatross for the rest of the games.

So when he won that race, the room went wild with relief, only to boil with rage when a protest was lodged and a re-run ordered.

By the time he was reinstated we'd all gone home to bed: but at least we'd run the whole gamut of emotion. For me, that was more thrilling than being there: give me telly over reality every time.

Tony Garrett (BBC Disability Sport executive)

There have been so many highlights throughout the Games, but probably my most abiding memory is the crowds.

When I finally ventured out of our offices in the International Broadcast Centre, I was amazed by the sheer volume of crowd going to the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest. It took over 25 minutes just to wheel across the Olympic Park to the Bird's Nest where on entering the stadium I was amazed by the huge crowds inside.

One of my major concerns in the build up to these Games was how large the crowds might be and would the Chinese public embrace the Paralympic spirit.

In fact, there were more people watching Peter Norfolk defend his quad singles wheelchair tennis title than watching Rafa Nadal v Fernando Gonzalez during the Olympics Final.

Along with a large continent of British supporters, it has ensured a tremendous atmosphere wherever you have been.

Dame Tanni Grey Thompson (BBC commentator and former Paralympic athlete)

Teenage British wheelchair racer Mickey Bushell's performance in the T53 100m was an incredible performance which he just pulled out of the bag.

Mickey Bushell collecting his silver medal

In qualifying he had a good solid race (quick time for him) and had come third, but in the final he found about another four gears.

Mickey has always been a fast starter but perhaps doesn't have the top speed that some of the guys have, but in his final (and not for the first time) I was praying that it could be a 95m race.

Mickey started very well, and held his nerve in tough conditions, and it was only just on the line that Josh George from the USA came through to steal the gold.

It was a massive lifetime best of the most magnificent order and what a place to do it! He looked almost shocked in his interview and then the smile broke out.

Clare Balding (BBC presenter)

My highlight is Lee Pearson winning three more gold medals in the dressage. A natural showman and a wonderful horseman, Lee is unbeaten in Paralympic competition across three Games and nine competitions.

He is not afraid of telling the world how good he is but with pride comes pressure and with a new, unexperienced horse in Gentleman he was more vulnerable in Hong Kong than ever before. He came up with two individual medals and led the team to another gold as well.

Another performance I would pick out from a host of highlights was that of Jody Cundy in winning his kilo.

His time would have won him the gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics and given that he has only switched to cycling from swimming in the last two and a half years, it is incredible that he is riding so well and so fast.

He collapsed afterwards through the sheer effort and took 20 minutes to recover, having left nothing more in the tank. An extraordinary athlete.

Chris Mitchell (BBC Radio Five Live reporter)

This is easy: Eleanor Simmonds' first gold medal in the Water Cube. I was lucky enough to be the first to interview the 13-year-old and as she clambered out of the pool and walked towards me, her face was a picture.

Eleanor Simmonds with gold medal

She couldn't believe what she'd done and neither could we. She laughed and she cried and she kept saying 'I'm so happy... I am so happy...' I bet I was not the only one who could have cried with her.

She wasn't supposed to win the 100m freestyle but she beat a women 26-years older than her to win in a fingertip finish. The race and the pictures of her afterwards will be replayed for years to come - and rightly so.

In one wonderful sporting moment Eleanor proved she was world class not only in the pool but also on the pool deck. She displayed her emotions with great innocence but also a level of maturity that belied her years.

Steve Cram (BBC presenter)

Oscar Pistorius' first gold medal of these Games came in a 100m race which showed the unpredictability of sport.

The 100m was the weakest of his events but in a race filled with drama, Marlon Shirley fell after 60m and the South African went on to triumph in the final couple of strides of the race.

The crowd at the Bird's Nest let out an audible gasp of shock and appreciation. Shock at an athlete fall in spectacular style and appreciation at what Oscar had achieved and the way in which he had achieved it.

Nick Mullins (BBC commentator)

Listening to tennis champion Esther Vergeer's story over a pot of jasmine tea in the athletes' village is something that will stay with me for a long time.

The way she re-called as an 8-year-old the moment she realised she would never walk on her own again, coupled with her refusal to live life watching tulips grow from the other side of the window, was humbling. Extraordinary story, extraordinary athlete.

I would also like to mention the support and genorosity of the spectators in general and one moment in particular.

When, early one morning, Gabon's Thierry Mabicka was disqualified from the men's 800m just as he was about to be lapped by the field, the entire stadium gave him a standing ovation as he pushed his way sadly off the track.

We had wondered how the Chinese might react to disabled athletes. In one glorious cameo that morning, we had our answer.

Elizabeth Hudson (BBC Sport Interactive reporter)

I enjoyed the tension of the BC1/2 team boccia final and the precision of Danielle Brown and John Stubbs who claimed archery golds, as well as the emotion of cyclist Mark Bristow who dashed across the velodrome track to be with his family after winning gold.

But I have to mention the spectacular crash in the women's T54 5000m as something that will remain with me for a long time.

With the racers making their way around towards the bell, all of a sudden a crash saw six racers left strewn on the track

The remaining five athletes, including Shelly Woods, continued on their way around and had to avoid a crash with track officials on the final straight.

It is something you do not see too often, but when you do, it makes you gasp. Thankfully there were no serious injuries but if you haven't seen it yet on our site, you should try to!

Elizabeth Hudson is a BBC Sport journalist focusing on Paralympic sport. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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