Paralympic Games – Friends and Family Info

This page will serve as a convenient notice board and reference tool for the family and friends of our Paralympic athletes.

OFFICIAL EVENT WEBSITE: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/sailing/

ISAF EVENT WEBSITE: http://www.sailing.org/paralympics/index.php

SCHEDULE/RESULTS: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/sailing/schedule-and-results/

TOURISM/VIEWING: CLICK HERE for the official tourism page for Dorset, which features helpful information on accommodation, transportation, festivals, viewing opportunities, and important events.

See page two of the following map for viewing location information. The viewing location is the Nothe Fort in Weymouth. The veiwing site is open to all (non-ticketed), is a grassy hill and is exposed to all of natures elements. Please bring adequate clothing, we found layers work the best as it is often cooler in the morning and would warm up in the afternoon sun. Weymouth Map (Spectator Site Map).

COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

  • Q: Is there adequate data access and cell signal?
  • There is strong access to cellular and internet data in and around Weymouth.
  • Q: Is [insert sponsorship offer] in conflict with US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, LOCOG or USOC policy?
  • All questions on sponsorship or image distribution should be directed to Dana Paxton (danapaxton@ussailing.org, Communications Director) and Katie Smith (katiesmith@ussailing.org, Commercial Manager)

Important Points for Family and Friends:

  • Help us keep the team’s approach during The Games similar to our approach during previous international regattas.
    • Let each athlete go about his or her business as normal.
    • Families and friends should not expect to see their athlete more than a few times during the event, if at all. Keep expectations low, as this will take pressure off of the athletes themselves.
    • Please understand that most sailors are not used to having large groups of family and friends present while they compete internationally, and we feel it would be unwise to disrupt that routine to a great extent.
  • Access to the US Sailing Team compound will be nearly nonexistent.
    • This differs from the access policies in place during previous events, such as Skandia Sail for Gold.

 

  • Think of supporting your athlete just as you would at a saturday soccer game. 
    • You might wave to them during the warm-up,  just so they know you are there.  After that,  you want them focused on the game and listening to their coach.  You don’t go into the huddle at 1/2 time.  After the game is over,  and each team has shaken hands,  you acknowledge the effort your athlete played at,  and applaud their performance.  The difference is that the “game” takes a week at the Paralympics.
  • The Paralympics is an adventure for spectators, friends and families. 
    • Live in the excitement and moment of something great,  but don’t distract your athlete with what you are doing.  We encourage you to visit London (but don’t make your plans contingent on your athlete going with you).  Just simply tell them that you “are having a great time and don’t worry about us,  just stay focused on your regatta”.  There will be plenty of stories to tell after.
  • The friends/family and coaches of each athlete will have the opportunity to interface before the event.
    • We want family and friends to feel connected to events as they unfold, and feel confident in our outstanding coaching staff.
  • If you aren’t enthusiastic about being in Weymouth during the regatta, we would encourage you to not attend, or spend more time in London.
    • Body language is important, especially with families. We need to ensure that our athletes feel comfortable and focused.
  • We recognize that some families function well during long high-pressure events,  and that they can provide a calming support. 
    • Remember that our team will be immersed in team-only activity for  a week,  and that some activity away from the team can often recharge an athlete.  A dinner with friends and family on the layday (or night before) is fairly standard.  However, such events should NOT be used for discussing the competition.  It’s about family support,  interaction,  and feeling grounded.  Keep things light and positive.  You want your athlete or friend going back to the village refreshed, loved,  and with an un-cluttered mind.
  • While we acknowledge that girlfriends, boyfriends, and spouses are a different level of relationship,  all of the above rules apply.
  • We encourage family and friends to come in groups, rather than alone.
    • Bringing your own mutual support group will generally provide a better experience.
  • We highly recommend bringing telescopes and binoculars. 

 

TRAVEL TIPS/PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Below are some helpful tips and links to informational websites to reference while planning your trip to The Paralympic Games.

The following websites contain general tourism information -

Things To Do -

Getting To Weymouth -

  • You can travel to Weymouth during the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic sailing events by park and ride, bus, train or coach. Travelling in Dorset will be busy so you are advised to plan and book your journey in advance. Visit http://www.london2012.com/venue/weymouth-and-portland/travel/ and  http://www.dorsetforyou.com/sailing2012/travel-and-transport/travelling-to-weymouth for details.
  • Traveling by train – To catch the train to Weymouth from Heathrow airport, you can either take a bus (there is a fee) from any terminal to Woking station and from there a train will take you Weymouth. Or you can use their subway system, the Tube, to get to London and take a train from the London station to Weymouth. *If you are traveling with luggage it will be easier to take the bus from Heathrow to Woking and catch a train from Woking.
  • Car services  – click here to view a list of car services that are available from Heathrow airport.
  • General travel tips from the U.S. State Department for those traveling over to The Games this summer – http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_5683.html
  • Getting Ahead of the Games – http://www.getaheadofthegames.com/
  • We strongly suggest making travel arrangements as soon as possible.

Travel In and Around the Weymouth Area -

  • If you plan to travel around Weymouth by car be advised that travel is expected to be slow and parking will be very limited (http://www.dorsetforyou.com/sailing2012/car-parks). You can expect heaviest traffic during peak travel times – 8am to noon and 5pm to 10pm on event days.
  • We suggest walking, biking and using public transport for travel within Weymouth whenever possible. Click here for information on bike rentals
  • If  you are coming to Weymouth for the day or coming by car is the only option – book a space now at one of three dedicated park and ride sites -  park and ride booking service
  • Upon arrival to the Weymouth train station there will be taxi’s and buses available for transportation to Weymouth and Portland.

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