You're right, I don't think it'll be quite as showbiz, but ticket sales are looking good, so there shouldn't be the empty seats of Sydney, or the bussed in schoolkids of Beijing.
Cyfa: There's a separate Paralympic torch lighting ceremony
and torch relay
knocking about next week.
Integration is always a divisive issue in the 'community'. ABs aren't allowed to race wheelchairs in competition, yet some disabled athletes want the recognition of full integration with the AB sport world. Others prefer the special attention that an exclusive event produces. Some see that as playing the 'brave cripple' card. Aren't we all disabled in some sports in some way? I'm only 5'7", but there isn't an Olympic high jump for short people...After 15 years in the field, I'm still not sure which way I'd go.
London Marathon's had wheelchairs since '83, Great North Run since '81, The Diamond League has some T54/53 and T37 events included, so it's coming gradually...
As for combining Olympic and Paralympic events, it would be an enormous effort, unless the Para part was seriously reduced, which in itself would be controversial. There were 302 gold medals in the Olympics, there will be 499 in the Paralympics, and that doesn't include the Special Olympics for Learning Disabilities too. It would be a humongous event.
In addition, I suspect the IOC and the IPC would never be able to come to an agreement: Israel/Palestine anyone?
All the best,
Pause, take a breath and ask yourself: "What would Rastamouse