The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the fourteenth Summer Paralympic Games, and also more generally known as the London 2012 Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for the disabled governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), that took place in London, UK, from 29 August to 9 September. These Paralympics were one of the largest multi-sport events ever to held in the United Kingdom after the 2012 Summer Olympics, and were the largest Paralympics ever: 4,302 athletes from 164 National Paralympic Committees participated.
The games marked the return of the Paralympic movement to its spiritual birthplace: in 1948, the British village of Stoke Mandeville first hosted the Stoke Mandeville Games, an athletics event for disabled British veterans of the Second World War held to coincide with the opening of the Summer Olympics in London. They were the first-ever organised sporting event for disabled athletes, and served as a precursor to the modern Paralympic Games. Stoke Mandeville also co-hosted the 1984 Summer Paralympics with Long Island, New York, after its original host, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, pulled out due to financial issues.
Organisers expected the Games to be the first Paralympics to achieve mass-market appeal, fuelled by continued enthusiasm from the British public following the country's successful performance at the Summer Olympics, awareness of the United Kingdom's role in the history of the Paralympics, and growing media coverage of Paralympic sport. The games ultimately met these expectations, breaking records for ticket sales, heightening the profile of the Paralympics in relation to the Olympics, and prompting IPC president Philip Craven to declare them the "greatest Paralympic Games ever."
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