The numerous celebrations in 2012 have provided the perfect opportunity for royalists and sport fanatics alike to fly the flag of Great Britain. The Paralympic Games is the final opportunity this year for Brits to be loud and proud but spectators of certain sports are restricted to waving and showing thumbs-up. In goalball the referees must remind the crowd to show their support quietly so the athletes can hear the bells inside the ball. The same applies to 5-a-side football, as visually impaired athletes must rely on hearing the ball in order to intercept it. Indeed, on the screens at such venues the crowds are encouraged by well-known faces such as Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to show their support for ParalympicsGB without using the aptly named “boom sticks.” In equestrian too, the crowd must be hushed as horses can be afraid and can react unpredictably to loud cheers. Although the supporters may feel restricted it is in the athletes’ best interest to create prime conditions for medal winning.
LUCY MICHAELOUDIS, 17 YEARS