Inspiring more than athletes

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As the Paralympics kick off today, I know I'm not alone in being excited to see another round of exceptional athletes from around the world competing at the highest level. But while the phenomenal athletes may be the stars of the show, the supporting acts - from the buildings to the infrastructure - deserve some serious credit.

Anyone watching the Games will have seen the feats of engineering that have gone into making the Olympics – and now Paralympics – so successful. From the beautiful UK-made petal cauldron, to innovative waterproofing methods used for the Orbit tower, cutting-edge UK manufacturing and engineering abounds.

As this article from the Evening Standard last week points out, engineering has been a crucial factor behind the Games' success. So will the Olympics inspire a generation of engineers as well?

Positively, there have been a range of initiatives in place to encourage this, including the Make it in Great Britain exhibition at the science museum; and Olympics-themed STEM programmes in schools; not to mention the key place that great engineers and innovators like Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Tim Berners-Lee held in the Olympic opening ceremony.

So as the Paralympics start, let's hope this round of games fuels the imagination of our nation. Not only to attain athletic achievement, but engineering achievements too.

Come on Team GB!

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