Australian Paralympic Swimmers Come to Cardiff Bay
Battling Australian Paralympic swimmer Rick Pendleton – triple gold medalist and winner of the 200m individual medley in Beijing 2008 – came to Cardiff Bay’s International Pool this week for final preparations before taking on his world record breaking rival, Canadian, Benoit “The Shark” Huot for the gold medal in the 2012 London Paralympics.
From the Gold Coast to the South Wales Coast
Pendleton and the rest of the Paralympic Committee’s high performance squad leave one state of the art facility at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland for another: Cardiff International Pool, Cardiff Bay, part of the International Sports Village development - with its fifty metre, ten lane competition pool and seating for 1000 spectators.
The Australian Olympians from the Gold Coast surfing mecca should feel very much at home in this atmosphere of renewed interest in sports inspired by the London 2012 Olympics. Their swim camp is right next door to the Cardiff International White Water centre featuring canoe and kayak activities. Also the site of a proposed £2M indoor surf centre, the Surf Rider, which creates a standing wave for up to eight surfers at a time by pumping thousands of gallons of water down an artificial slope and is expected to attract an extra 18,000 annual visitors to the Bay.
The public will have their chance to engage with the spirit of the games on bank holiday 27th August when Cardiff Bay will host one of the three Flame Festivals that will be held as part of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay. Escorted by a lantern procession, the Flame will arrive in Roald Dahl Plass on its way to Stoke Mandeville, spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement, where it will be united with Flames from the UK's other capital cities to create the Paralympic Flame.
A free evening event at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, will feature a variety of entertainment including performances from the Centre's own choirs Hard Côr and Only Kids Aloud, Scarabeus aerial performers, Tredegar Brass Band and a spectacular finale.