The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
The Paralympics 2008
From 6 to 17 September 2008, Beijing will
play host to the 13th Paralympics and the
BBC will be on hand to provide extensive
coverage across TV, interactive, radio
Viewers will be able to see live coverage of
the Opening (6 September, BBC One) and
Closing Ceremonies (17 September, BBC
Two), live coverage of the weekend's action
on BBC One or BBC Two, a highlights show
Monday-Friday at 7pm on BBC Two and a
five/six hour live programme on Interactive
In addition BBC
News programming, radio and online will be
focusing on stories and issues coming from
All BBC One and BBC Two
coverage will also be available on BBC HD.
The Paralympics has grown in
numbers and stature since the inaugural
Games in Rome 1960. Back then the
Paralympics saw 400 competitors from 23
countries taking part.
The Seoul Games in
1988 saw the Paralympic and Olympic
athletes compete at the same venues for the
first time, but the real breakthrough was at
the 2000 Sydney Games, where record
crowds were on hand to witness a new level
in competition and where media coverage
reached an all-time peak.
In Beijing approximately 4,000 athletes from
150 different countries will be competing, an
increase on the 130 countries who took part
In addition 3,000 of the world's
media are expected to be in China to cover
The British Paralympic team have a strong
heritage of success and will arrive in Beijing
with high hopes of once again securing a
leading position in the medal table.
Sydney and Athens Team GB finished second
in the final table with 41 and 35 gold medals
However, the task will not be an easy one
given the retirement of some key figures such
as Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and the
emergence of host nation China as a real
force at the last Games.
The current Paralympic summer sports are:
adaptive rowing; archery; athletics; boccia;
cycling; equestrian; wheelchair fencing;
football; goalball; judo; powerlifting; sailing;
shooting; standing volleyball; swimming; table
tennis; wheelchair tennis; wheelchair
basketball; and wheelchair rugby.
The BBC's coverage will be presented by
Clare Balding and Steve Cram (who will be
commentating as well).
They will be joined
by commentators Paul Dickenson, Bob
Ballard, Nick Mullins, Ron McIntosh and
Eddie Butler, and reporters Rishi Persad, Phil
Jones and Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes.
Expert analysis is provided by specialist
summarisers Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson,
Ade Adepitan and Marc Woods.
Athletics, swimming, cycling, wheelchair
basketball and wheelchair rugby will comprise
the backbone of the BBC's TV coverage
throughout the Games, but will be
supplemented by coverage of, and features
about, a range of others, particularly those in
which Team GB has a strong medal hope.
All the coverage will be streamed on the
BBC's award-winning Disability Sport
website at bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/disability_sport/, where there will also be a daily blog
written from Beijing as well as reports and
photos on all the main action, results and
BBC Radio 5 Live will bring all the news
throughout the Paralympic Games with a
dedicated team of reporters in Beijing and
the other Olympic cities.
There will also be
live commentary from some key events
featuring strong British interest.
The team will comprise Commonwealth and
European 400m medallist, and 5 Live
athletics reporter and commentator, Allison
Curbishley, who will be joined by the BBC's
Ed Harry, Chris Mitchell and Mike Sewell.
The 5 Live schedule will return to its usual
form during the Games, with news and
commentary added into programmes as