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Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games or Paralympics are a periodic series of international multi-sport events involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, ataxia, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee; the Paralympics has grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. The Paralympics has grown from 400 athletes with a disability from 23 countries in 1960 to thousands of competitors from over 100 countries at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel with the Olympic Games, while the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games include athletes with intellectual disabilities, the Deaflympics include deaf athletes. Given the wide variety of disabilities that Paralympic athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete; the allowable disabilities are broken down into ten eligible impairment types. The categories are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, ataxia, vision impairment and intellectual impairment; these categories are further broken down into classifications. Athletes with disabilities did compete at the Olympic Games prior to the advent of the Paralympics; the first athlete to do so was German American gymnast George Eyser in 1904, who had one artificial leg. Hungarian Karoly Takacs competed in shooting events in both 1952 Summer Olympics, he could shoot left-handed. Another disabled athlete to appear in the Olympics prior to the Paralympic Games was Lis Hartel, a Danish equestrian athlete who had contracted polio in 1943 and won a silver medal in the dressage event.

The first organized athletic day for disabled athletes that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. Jewish-German born Dr. Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, helped to flee Nazi Germany by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics in 1939, 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, 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, Dutch and Israeli veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its own kind. These early competitions known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games. There have been several milestones in the Paralympic movement.

The first official Paralympic Games, no longer open to war veterans, was held in Rome in 1960. 400 athletes from 23 countries competed at the 1960 Games. Since 1960, the Paralympic Games have taken place in the same year as the Olympic Games; the Games were open only to athletes in wheelchairs. With the inclusion of more disability classifications the 1976 Summer Games expanded to 1,600 athletes from 40 countries; the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul was another milestone for the Paralympic movement. It was in Seoul that the Paralympic Summer Games were held directly after the 1988 Summer Olympics, in the same host city, using the same facilities; this set a precedent, followed in 1992, 1996 and 2000. It was formalized in an agreement between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee in 2001, was extended through 2020. On March 10, 2018, the two committees further extended their contract to 2032; the 1992 Winter Paralympics were the first Winter Games to use the same facilities as the Winter Olympics.

The first Winter Paralympic Games were held in 1976 in Sweden. This was the first Paralympics in which multiple categories of athletes with disabilities could compete; the Winter Games were celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart, just as the Olympics were. This tradition was upheld until the 1992 Games in France; the IPC is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. It comprises 176 National Paralympic Committees and four disability-specific international sports federations; the president of the IPC is Andrew Parsons. The IPC's international headquarters are in Germany; the IPC is responsible for organizing Winter Paralympic Games. It serves as the International Federation for nine sports (Paralympic athletics, Paralympic swimming, Paralympic shooting, Paralympic powerlifting, Para-alpine skiing, Paralympic biathlon, Paralympic cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and Wheelchair

Ashington railway station

Ashington railway station was a station on the Newbiggin-by-the-Sea branch of the Blyth and Tyne Railway network which served the town of Ashington in Northumberland, North East England. The station was closed by British Railways in 1964, but it has been the subject of a reopening campaign since at least the 1990s. Ashington station was opened by the Tyne Railway in 1872 as Hirst; the North Eastern Railway took over the Blyth and Tyne Railway in 1874, the NER became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in the 1923 grouping and the station passed to the North Eastern Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. British Railways withdrew passenger services in 1964 as part of the Reshaping of British Railways; the line through the former station is still used for freight. Ashington signal box was closed on 14 February 2010 with the removal of the main line crossover; the signal box was demolished over the weekend of 10–11 August 2013. There have been proposals to reintroduce passenger services to part of the former Blyth and Tyne Railway system since the 1990s.

The Railway Development Society endorsed the proposal in 1998. In 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £34 million proposal to restore passenger services from Newcastle to Ashington. In the early 2010s, Northumberland County Council became interested in the reintroduction of passenger services onto remaining freight-only sections of the network. In June 2013 NCC commissioned Network Rail to complete a GRIP 1 study to examine the best options for the scheme; the GRIP 1 study was received by NCC in March 2014 and in June 2015 they initiated a more detailed GRIP 2 Feasibility Study at a cost of £850,000. The GRIP 2 study, which NCC received in October 2016, confirmed that the reintroduction of a frequent seven-day a week passenger service between Newcastle, Ashington and a new terminus to the east, at Woodhorn, was feasible and could provide economic benefits of £70 million with more than 380,000 people using the line each year by 2034. At the time it was suggested that, subject to funding being raised for the £191 million scheme, detailed design work could begin in October 2018 with construction commencing four months and the first passenger services introduced in 2021 though by October 2018 such works were yet to begin.

After receiving the GRIP 2 study, NCC announced that they were preceding with a GRIP 3 Study from Network Rail but such a report was not commissioned at the time. Despite a change in the political leadership of Northumberland County Council following the 2017 local elections the authority continued to work towards the reintroduction of a passenger service onto the line, encouraged by the Department for Transport's November 2017 report, A Strategic Vision for Rail, which named the line as a possible candidate for a future reintroduction of passenger services. Consequentially, NCC commissioned a further interim study in November 2017 to determine whether high costs and long timescales identified in the GRIP 2 Study could be reduced by reducing the initial scope of the project but the report failed to deliver on this; the county council has, continued to develop the project, announcing an additional £3.46 million in funding for a further business case and detailed design study to be completed by the end of 2019.

However, the revised proposals, released in July 2019, are reduced in scope from the plan considered in the 2016 GRIP 2 study and propose 4-phase project to reduce the initial cost of the scheme. So, under Phase 1 alone, it is envisaged that passenger trains will return to Ashington, the station will be reopened, complete with new turn-back facilities. Phases would see additional stations, as well as line-speed and capacity improvements, elsewhere on the line; the North East Joint Transport Committee's bid for £377 million of funding from the UK Government's £1.28 billion Transfroming Cities Fund, submitted on 20 June 2019, includes £99 million to fund the reintroduction of passenger services between Newcastle and Ashington, while further work is ongoing to secure additional public and private investment for the project. Bevan, Alan, ed.. A-Z of Rail Reopenings. Fareham: Railway Development Society Ltd. p. 59. ISBN 0-901283-13-4. Butt, R. V. J.. The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt and stopping place and present.

Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. "Connecting Communities – Expanding Access to the Rail Network". London: Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2018. Jowett, Alan. Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137. Jowett, Alan. Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas. Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687. Denis Murphy. "Ashington and Tyne Railway". Parliamentary Debates. United Kingdom: House of Commons. Col. 135WH–139WH. Crawford, Ewan. "Blyth and Tyne Railway". A History of Britain's Railways. Railscot. Station on navigable 1946 O. S. map

Fred Glasse

Alfred Onslow Glasse was a New Zealand electrical engineer and local-body politician. He was chief engineer of the Auckland Electric Power Board for 29 years, served as president of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers in 1942–43. Glasse was elected as an Auckland City Councillor, was deputy mayor from 1962 to 1970. Glasse was born in Dunedin in 1889 and was educated at Otago Boys' High School, Dunedin Technical College and the University of Otago, he trained as an engineer and travelled to Britain to gain further experience at the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, a large firm of electrical engineers. During World War I he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1914 and was awarded the Military Cross and mentioned in dispatches. Following the war he returned to work with the same firm. In 1922 the Thomson-Houston Company secured a contract for the supply of machinery and equipment to the Auckland City Council. Glasse was assigned back to New Zealand as the company's supervising engineer where he led the installation work of the new machinery.

He subsequently joined the Auckland Electric Power Board as assistant engineer and after a few months was appointed chief engineer, holding the position until he retired 29 years in 1954. He served as vice-president of the Institution from 1940 to 1942 and was president from 1942 to 1943, he served as president of the Electric Supply Authority Engineers' Institute. In the 1952 Queen's Birthday Honours, Glasse was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services in the field of engineering. Following his retirement from engineering, Glasse became involved in civic affairs in Auckland. In the 1956 local elections, he was elected as a member of the Auckland City Council on a Citizens & Ratepayers ticket. Between 1962 and 1970 he served as Deputy Mayor of Auckland City. Glasse supported mayor Dove-Myer Robinson's local government reforms to establish the Auckland Regional Authority, he was a member of the Auckland Metropolitan Drainage Board and the Harbour Bridge Authority retiring from public office in 1976.

In the 1969 Queen's Birthday Honours, Glasse was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, for services to the community and to local government in Auckland. He died on 13 December 1977, aged 88; the Alfred O. Glasse Award, an annual award by the New Zealand Planning Institute to recognize services to planning by non-planners, is named in Glasse's honour. Bush, Graham W. A.. Decently and in Order: The Government of the City of Auckland 1840-1971. Auckland: Collins