The Paralympics Begin With Style, The US Dominates Swimming

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The Paralympics have kicked off in Beijing with an opening ceremony that rivaled the Olympic opening ceremony. The US swim team dominated the swimming events yesterday, coming away with four gold medals, two silver and three bronze. Some other medals of note: • The first gold medal of the games went to Slovakian shooter Veronika Vadovicova, shooting the 10 meter air rifle event from a wheelchair. The silver medal went to Germany's Manuela Schmermund and the bronze to Puerto Rico's Nilda Gomez Lopez. Special applause goes to 66 year-old shooter Kosmala, the oldest shooter on the range and a 5 time Paralympian. • The first gold for the host country went to China's Du Jianping in the 100m freestyle at S3 class. Jianping, who has lower body disabilities, edged ahead of Ukraine's Dmytro Vynohradets who took the silver. China's Li Hanhua came away with the bronze. • Great Britain cyclist Simon Richardson won gold for his country in the men's LC3/4 one-kilometre time-trial, a race for athletes with lower-limb disabilities. He also set a Paralympic record in the process. Fellow countrywoman Aileen McGlynn also took gold in the women's B&VI 1-3 one-kilometre time-trial. McGlynn, who is registered blind, competes with a pilot rider. Darren Kenny took a third cycling gold for Great Britain in the CP3 individual pursuit. There are a number of inspiring stories coming out of this year's Paralympic games. Check out the US Paralympic Team website and I encourage you to keep yourself posted on these incredible and courageous athletes.