London 2012 Paralympics in the UK Web Archive
By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, British Library
"Our greatest of days witnessed through disbelieving eyes
AND that was that, a summer like no other now consigned to the pages of history. A cherished memory of endless days and golden glory witnessed through often disbelieving eyes."
The London 2012 Paralympic Games was, then as now, seen as a great success and a new milestone for for how disability is viewed by the wider public. Channel Four made the iconic advert 'Meet the Superhumans' that arguably created a distinct and positive tone leading into the games. They also broadcast an unprecedented (at that time) 150 hours of Paralympic sport.
The term 'superhuman' is seen by some as controversial and problematic and it is notable that the slogan for the 2016 games were changed to 'Yes I can'. Language around disability can often be complicated, as words and phrases used historically are now considered offensive. Additionally words or phrases intended to convey a positive message can sometimes be misguided and have a negative impact. Particularly if thought of by someone without the lived experience of a disability.
What is undeniable, however, is the success of the sporting event itself. 'Team GB' won 34 Gold medals and 120 in total. Athletes Sarah Storey and David Weir each won 4 Gold in Swimming and Athletics respectively. Great Britain ended third in the medal table, a fantastic achievement.
The UK Web Archive extensively collected websites for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games collection that now represent a superb resource of this key time in modern history. The collection holds nearly 500 target websites, the vast majority of which can be viewed anywhere online.
Do you know of UK Paralympic athletes and sports for the Tokyo 2020 games? Nominate here.