The Paralympic mascot is inspired by Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, which is regarded as the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.
During the 1948 Olympic Games held in London, Sir Ludwig Guttmann held a sporting competition in Stoke Mandeville for World War II soldiers with spinal injuries. Gutmann had a vision of a “parallel Olympics” for athletes who had a disability and through his rehabilitation work, the Stoke Mandeville Games grew until they became formally known as the Paralympic Games first held in Rome in 1960.

St Paul’s Mandeville:

Mandeville

A collection of 83 sculptures of Wenlock (the Olympic mascot) and Mandeville (the Paralympic mascot) were planted at sites around London as part of a new ‘discovery’ trail to promote the Games.
Each outfit represents a different element of the capital’s culture.

A few Mandeville and Wenlock I spotted:

Skyline Wenlock:

Skyline Wenlock

Maritime Wenlock:

Maritime Wenlock

Mandeville:

Mandeville

First it was the Olympic Rings, and now it’s the turn of the Paralympic Agitos to grace Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge

Just as the Olympics boasts the famous five Olympic Rings emblem, so too does the Paralympics have its own symbol: three ‘Agitos’ coloured red, blue, and green, encircling a single point on a white field.
The colours of the Agitos (from the Latin verb ‘agito’ – I move) feature the three most widely represented colours of national flags around the world.

Good bye

A bittersweet end of career for Kim Clijsters, beaten by Laura Robson in the second round of the 2012 US Open.

It’s the place that has inspired me so much to do well and to do great things. It’s hard to explain sometimes why.
This completely feels like the perfect place to retire, I just wish it wasn’t today.

She will be remembered for her four Grand Slam titles (US Open in 2005, 2009 and 2010, Australian Open in 2011) and her rivalry with Justine Henin, but first and foremost for her outgoing, friendly personality.

Kim Clijsters

Thanks and good luck for your new life.

Andy Roddick announced his retirement Thursday, saying this US Open would be his final tournament.

I’ve always, for whatever my faults have been, felt like I’ve never done anything halfway. Probably the first time in my career that I can sit here and say I’m not sure that I can put everything into it physically and emotionally. I don’t know that I want to disrespect the game by coasting home. I had plans to play a smaller schedule next year. But the more I thought about it, I think you either got to be all in or not. You know, that’s more kind of the way I’ve chosen to do things.

Roddick is the last American man to win a Grand Slam event, winning the US Open in 2003. But he was unable to add another major championship, mostly because of Roger Federer, who beat Roddick in four Grand Slam finals (2006 US Open, Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009).

He will meet Fabio Fognini in the third round.

Upsets

Shock second round exit for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, beaten by Martin Klizan, ranked 52nd in the world. Semifinalist at Wimbledon, quarterfinalist at Roland Garros and the Olympics this year, the Frenchman had been expected to meet Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.
Not since the Australian Open in 2007 had Tsonga lost before the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.

Winner in Cincinnati, Li Na – now coached by longtime Henin mentor Carlos Rodriguez – was ousted in the third round by British teenager Laura Robson.
By doing so Robson became the first female British player since Sam Smith in 1998 to reach the last 16 of a major. Next opponent: the defending champion, Sam ‘Shuffle’ Stosur.

Caroline Wozniacki, the 2009 US Open runner-up and a semifinalist in 2010 and 2011, crashed out of the US Open on Tuesday with a first-round loss, falling 6-2 6-2 to Irina Begu. Her ‘excuse’ this time: a right-knee injury.
Earlier this summer at Wimbledon, Wozniacki also lost her first-round match to Tamira Paszek.

Stosur Shuffle

The Petko Dance is so last year…

Stosur Shuffle

I’m sure I looked like a goose. I’m waiting for someone to tell me if it was all right or not.

London Paralympic venues

For the most part, the Paralympics use the same venues as the Olympics.
There is also one additional venue to the Olympic Park which was not used for the Olympics: Eton Manor, which hosts the Wheelchair Tennis competition.
Outside London, there are three venues. Eton Dorney will still host the Rowing and the Sailing will again take place at Weymouth and Portland in Dorset. The cycling events will take place at Brands Hatch in Kent.

Created at LondonTown.com

When is the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis competition?

1-8 September

Where will the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis take place?

The Paralympic tennis event will take place at Eton Manor, the only purposed-built London 2012 Paralympic venue.
Situated towards the north end of Olympic Park, Eton Manor features nine competition courts, all designed in striking blue color, and four practice courts. The venue is based on the grounds of the old Eton Manor Sports Club, once a popular community sports facility in the 1990s.

When did Wheelchair Tennis first appear in the Paralympics?

After featuring as an exhibition sport at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Tennis was introduced as a full medal event at the Barcelona 1992 Games, and has featured at every Games since then.
Quad events have been added in Athens in 2004.

How is Wheelchair Tennis played?

Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis. Except the ball is allowed to bounce twice. The second bounce can be either inside or outside the court boundaries.

How many gold medals are up for grabs?

6. There are six medal events to be contested: men’s and women’s Singles, men’s and women’s Doubles, Quad Singles and Quad Doubles. Quad players have an impairment that affects three or more limbs.

Who are the favorites?

Women: Unbeaten in over 460 singles matches since 2003, Dutch Esther Vergeer is a sure thing for the podium. She bids for her fourth successive singles medal at London 2012. Her toughest competitors will be compatriots Aniek van Koot and Jiske Griffioen, as well as Sabine Ellerbrock from Germany.

Men: The competition is wide open in the men’s event. Shingo Kunieda of Japan could become the first player to win two men’s singles Paralympic titles. But he has plenty of strong challengers. They are headed by world number one Stéphane Houdet of France and Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands.
Young Argentinian Gustavo Fernandez could also cause a surprise.

Quad: This could come down to a duel between two longtime rivals: American David Wagner, who earned a bronze at Beijing and gold at Athens, and Great Britain’s Peter Norfolk – nicknamed The Quadfather – who took the gold in Athens and Beijing.