2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between 29 August and 9 September 2012. The Games will be held in London, United Kingdom after the city was successful with its bid for the Paralympics and Summer Olympic Games.
Even though 2012 will be London's third Olympic Games, it will be the first Paralympic Games to be staged there, as the event was created after the last time the city hosted in 1948. It is however the second time that the United Kingdom hosts a Paralympic Games. The 1984 Summer Paralympics were hosted in both Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom and Long Island, New York, United States. Also, the first organized athletic event for athletes with a disability that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. Dr. Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital hosted a sports competition for British World War II veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. The first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, and were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. Dr. Guttman's aim was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities that would be equivalent to the Olympic Games. The games were held again at the same location in 1952, and Dutch veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its kind. These early competitions, also known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will use a mixture of new venues, existing and historic facilities, and temporary facilities, some of them in well-known locations such as Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade. In the wake of the problems that plagued the Millennium Dome, the organisers' intention is that there will be no white elephants after the Games and instead that a "2012 legacy" will be delivered. Some of the new facilities will be reused in their Olympic form, while others, including the 80,000 seater main stadium, will be reduced in size or relocated elsewhere in the UK. The plans are part of the regeneration of Stratford in east London which will be the site of the Olympic Park, and of the neighbouring Lower Lea Valley.
This has required the compulsory purchase of some business properties, which are being demolished to make way for Olympic venues and infrastructure improvements. This has caused some controversy, with some of the affected proprietors claiming that the compensation offered is inadequate. In addition, concerns about the development's potential impact on the future of the century-old Manor Garden Allotments have inspired a community campaign, and the demolition of the Clays Lane housing estate was opposed by tenants, as is that of Carpenters Estate.
The majority of venues have been divided into three zones within Greater London: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. In addition to these are those venues that, by necessity, are outside the boundaries of Greater London, such as the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the Isle of Portland in Dorset which will host the sailing events, some 125 miles (200 km) southwest of the Olympic Park. The football tournament will be staged at several grounds around the UK.