The London 2012 Paralympic Games set the global benchmark for all future Games to come, and made a lasting impact on the Paralympic Movement and sport for people with a disability.
A record-breaking 4,237 Para athletes (2,736 men and 1,501 women) from 164 countries competed in London, including 15 first-time National Paralympic Committee participants. There were 503 medal events across 20 sports, with athletes performing in front of packed crowds after a record 2.7 million tickets were sold.
The Games didn’t only capture the host country’s attention like never before, but a record number of broadcasters saw competition beamed onto TVs in more than 100 countries, reaching a cumulative audience of 3.8 billion people.
For Canada, London 2012 was a transitional Games. Veteran stars were near the end of their competitive careers and new ones were emerging. It was the experienced athletes who collected most of the hardware as Canada won seven gold, 15 silver, and nine bronze.
Canadian Para swimmers won 16 of the 31 medals. Summer Mortimer led the charge with two gold, a silver, and a bronze. Her victories in the S10 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke were in world record times.
Benoit Huot was a triple medallist in the pool with a gold, silver and bronze which brought his career medal total to 19 after four games. He would conclude his brilliant career in Rio with one more podium visit.
Another swimmer Valérie Grand’Maison set a world record in the 200m individual medley for gold to add to her two silver. Also with gold was Para cyclist Robbi Weldon with guide Lyne Bessette, the men’s wheelchair basketball team, and wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell.
Wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos was a triple silver medallist and visually impaired runner Jason Dunkerley took silver and bronze.
Rounding out Canada’s podium performances was bronze for Josh Vander Vies and Marco Dispaltro in boccia pairs and for Norbert Murphy in Para archery, which remain the most recent Canadian medals in those sports at the Paralympic Games.
This year, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Pfizer Canada are celebrating 25 years of supporting and promoting the Paralympic Movement together. Throughout 2021, we will look back on special sporting moments and milestones from each year of the partnership.
Click here to read each moment so far.