Our woman in Weymouth reflects on the afterglow of a successful Olympic Games – and looks forward to the extraordinary things to come during the London 2012 Paralympics.
It’s been just over a week since the Olympics drew to a close, and Weymouth and Portland is taking a quick breather before the Paralympic excitement gets underway.
Like the rest of the country Weymouth and Portland has enjoyed the glow of the Olympic feel-good factor. ‘Ben Ainslie Sunday’ was the start of a golden week with the borough bathed in sunshine, the beaches and live site full, the sports arena bustling and the GB sailors winning medals.
The specially pedestrianized streets were crammed with people carrying banners while evenings saw visitors, residents, sailors and their families enjoying local pubs and restaurants. Ten thousand people sat on the beach to watch the closing ceremony on the big screens waving flags, singing and dancing to the string of British hits.
But the party wasn’t over. 15 August saw Weymouth’s annual carnival sweep through the town, including an extra special bus carrying the Team GB sailors. Many of them have lived in Weymouth and Portland for some time to prepare for London 2012, and the bus parade was a chance to say thank you for the welcome and support local people have given our sailors over the years.
It is on the crest of this wave that Weymouth & Portland welcomes the Paralympics. The Paralympic Flame Celebration on 27 August will be the official welcome of sailing events and will include a spectacular fireworks display over Weymouth Bay later in the evening. And just like for the Olympics, Weymouth and Portland are focusing on sport and celebration, with a host of activities and events throughout the Paralympic period.
As Channel 4 might say – thanks for the warm-up.