Yes, those cows and their never-say-die spirits...Hmm. The Olympic mascots are: a fish girl, a panda boy, a fire boy, an antelope boy, and a swallow girl.
Cows, symbolic of a down-to-earth, diligent, staunch and never-say-die spirit, are adopted to show the unremitting spirit of athletes with a disability in being the best they can be. It dovetails with the upbeat spirit of Paralympians and the concept of "Transcendence, Equality, Integration" of the Beijing Paralympic Games.
The determined, optimistic and diligent spirit of cows reflects a positive attitude to life. The Paralympic Games calls for people with a disability to enjoy the same rights to compete in sports as anyone else, and to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the World, and thus develop their strength to add vigor and vitality to social progress.
Watch the Paralympics
This site, Paralympic Sport TV, will show news and events from the Paralympic Games, which start on September 6th, 2008. It is run by the International Paralympic Committee. Watch a cool trailer here. I don't know how much coverage they will feature.
If you live in the UK, details of Paralympics coverage on TV can be found here. They will air over six hours of Paralympic sport per day for twelve days.
In Australia, the ABC will broadcast over one hundred hours of Paralympic coverage. That's the most Paralympic coverage of any country. The schedule is here.
As far as I can tell, there will be little to no coverage of the Paralympic Games in the United States. A nice person from the US Paralympic Team website informed me that hopefully there would be news about some Paralympic coverage. I will keep you posted! I'm guessing there should at least be some televised specials. If anyone knows of any scheduled coverage, leave me a comment!
And finally! This year marks (I believe) the first time that an athlete will compete in the both Paralympics and the Olympics. South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, who I wrote about before, will compete in the Olympic 10 km open water swim ( a new event) as well as six different Paralympic swim events.
Unfortunately, Oscar Pistorius did not qualify for the SA Olympic team in either the individual or relay competitions. He will represent South Africa in the Paralympics and he plans to continue training in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.
Images: Top: A cute little brightly-colored cartoon cow is the 2008 Paralympic mascot. A caption states her name in English and Chinese as Fu Niu Lele.