Paralympic Shorts: North Korea's 'naughty boy' smiles while he swims


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The Independent Online

North Korea performed strongly in the Olympic Games, with four gold medals and two bronze. But their only Paralympian finished ten seconds behind everyone else in the pool yesterday. Rim Ju-Song, who lost his legs as a child in an accident, nevertheless emerged from the pool after the S6 50m freestyle with a huge smile. "I'm encouraged that many people cheered for me today. I want to be the gold medallist in the next Paralympic Games in Rio," he said. One of the 17 North Korean officials accompanying Rim to the Games claimed that his injury was down to him being a "naughty boy" as a child. Team doctor Sung Chal-Kim, meanwhile, denied human rights groups claims that disabled people are hidden in labour camps.

C4 takes ratings bronze

Channel 4 paid around £9m to show the Paralympics, tripling the £3m alleged offer from the BBC. While the Opening Ceremony figures appeared to justify the cost – providing the broadcaster with its largest audience since the final of Big Brother 2002 – so executives will be watching the ratings. The early signs are good. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Channel 4 doubled its prime-time audience share. The Paralympics has pushed it to third place behind BBC 1 and ITV 1, ahead of BBC 2 – the channel that normally takes bronze.

Harry makes a splash

Prince Harry has been on a PR offensive, and after visiting sick children on Monday, he toured the Paralympic venues yesterday. According to discus thrower Derek Derenalagi, the Aquatics Centre crowd was distracted from watching Ellie Simmonds, preferring to stare at the royal. "He had so many people shouting at him, especially women and girls."

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