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The Armchair Fan Blog Returns

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6 September 2008




So two weeks of sleep, rest and relaxation and its all go again in Beijing. Early mornings, long days - they’re all back for another action packed two weeks.


And unlike the Olympics, the athletics starts on the second day of competition: None of this waiting around for the swimmers to get out of the pool.


Unfortunately for those of us left in the UK, it’s even more hectic, with 36 British athletes competing in over 60 events, it looks like it’s going to be pretty crazy for us all.


However, Paralympic Team GB is chock-a-block with potential medallists so hopefully it’ll be a successful fortnight inside the bird nest.


T54 racer David Weir is one that catches the eye. In a superhuman effort Dave is bidding for Gold in five events in Beijing and after picking up four medals (including three Gold) at the 2006 world championships, who would bet against the Surrey athlete in his third Paralympics.


Dan Greaves goes in the F44 Discuss looking to defend his Paralympic title in his third games. Greaves broke the world record on his way to Gold in Athens to improve on this silver he won in Sydney.


Other British hopefuls include, Mickey Bushell, Graeme Ballard, Kenny Churchill, Danny Crates, Bev Jones and Ian Jones….. The list just goes on and on and amazingly on.


Ian Jones runs in the T44 200m, 400m and currently lies second in the world behind the ‘blade runner’ Oscar Pistorious.


The South African has broken new boundaries this year by competing against the likes of Jeremy Wariner, becoming an international superstar, before a bid to compete in the Olympics was unsuccessful.


The 21-year-old will be competing in his second Paralympics after taking Athens by storm and unfortunately for Ian Jones, he doesn’t look like relaxing his strangle hold on the T44 category any time soon.


Danny West kicks off the games on Monday morning with the F34 Shot final, before returning to the Birds nest to compete in the final of the Discus that evening. Two finals in one day, the first day…if they both go well he’s got a long time to celebrate (and sober up) before the flight home.


David Weirs epic journey ends on the final day of the games in the marathon and hopefully Gold number five for Dave and a few others will push Paralympic Team GB to the top of the medal table…


I think this time ill have to increase the amount of power naps and energy drinks in a bid to make it through the games.

My Olympic experience looks like it was little more than a warm up. I know the athletes out in Beijing can do it; I just hope my body can get through it all.