Paralympic Shorts: US swimming team's secret weapon - Canadian pop


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The Independent Online

During the first week of the Olympics, the Americans hoarded the swimming medals. Ryan Lochte alone bagged five. Team USA's Paralympic swimming squad is just as formidable. To inspire seven-time Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long to glory, Missy Franklin has sent her the playlist that set her on the way to four golds.

So should Long beat British swimmers, you can blame Canadian pop stars Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber, and even UK boyband The Wanted.

Tweddle back in (aerial) action

Goodbye gymnastics, hello aerobatics. Britain's Olympic bronze-medal winning gymnast Beth Tweddle said at the end of the London Games that she wanted to take up "wing walking, bungee jumping, sky diving and skiing" – and yesterday she undertook the first of those adventure sports, strapped above the wings of a bi-plane, left, flying from RFC Rendcomb Airfield near Cirencester.

Terror threat reduced

How much do extremists want to bomb the Paralympics? Less than they did the Olympics, according to the Ministry of Defence. The no-fly zones around central London, Stratford and the south-east of the capital have shrunk and missiles have been removed from houses. Some 3,500 military personnel are available for venue-security duties; there were 12,000 for the Olympics.

Quote of the day

"In front of so many thousands of people, I think the best thing to do will be to just look at the finish line." The youngest member of Team USA's track and field squad Hannah McFadden, 16, on dealing with the pressure.