Less than one year after being blinded by an explosion in Afghanistan, U.S. swimmer Bradley Snyder has won a gold medal in the men's 100m freestyle at the 2012 Paralympics. He also set a new Paralympic record during a qualifying heat earlier Friday.
On a placid summer morning last month, before the Virginia heat could hit them, a former U.S. Marine and his partner lifted their rowing scull into the glassy water of the Rivanna River, near Charlottesville.
"First thing I do is take these legs off," said Rob Jones, who like his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, is a double, above-the-knee amputee. They're the U.S. team for mixed-doubles rowing at the 2012 London Paralympics, which started Wednesday.
More than 4,000 athletes from 147 countries will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where the opening ceremony is being held today. The games, which conclude on Sept. 9, include 20 sports such as cycling, judo and swimming — three sports that will hold medal events when competition begins in earnest Thursday.
Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner who was initially barred from the Olympics because his carbon-fiber leg prostheses were ruled an advantage to his running, is now being allowed to compete in this summer's London Olympics.