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24 September 2014
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The Beijing Games on the BBC
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson

The 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics 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 and online.

 

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 and bbc.co.uk/olympics.

 

In addition BBC News programming, radio and online will be focusing on stories and issues coming from the Games.

 

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 Athens.

 

In addition 3,000 of the world's media are expected to be in China to cover the Games.

 

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.

 

In both Sydney and Athens Team GB finished second in the final table with 41 and 35 gold medals respectively.

 

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 medal table.

 

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 events unfold.

 


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