Organisers of London 2012 are busy promoting the inspirational power of the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games (London 2012, 2010). The promise to inspire the nation as well as a worldwide audience underpinned London’s successful bid to host the Games and continues to play an important role in the run up to 2012. This vision, applying to both the Olympics and Paralympics, is particularly focused on raising the sporting aspirations of young people and inspiring them to compete in future Olympic events.
In this article we set out to query the extent to which young people are inspired by the Paralympics. We are interested to know whether people’s understanding of disability impacts on the way in which they understand the Paralympics and whether they feel inspired by the events. To tackle these questions, we met with young disabled people from the George Shearing Centre 1 in Wandsworth, South London, as well as non-disabled young people.