GALLERY: Village life – wide open spaces, esky surfing and the blind leading the blind

In the Paralympic Village, the dining hall is a popular place to relax and meet people. The dining hall at the Athens summer Paralympics reused the huge marquee from the 2000 Sydney Games as the venue for its 18 hour-a-day buffet selection. And, of course, Maccas was popular for those who had finished competition. Outside the dining hall, you were likely to see the traditional ‘trains’ of blind athletes linked to a sighted team member. As in Sydney, the Village comprised low/medium density housing, adding massively wide, sloping streets and large public spaces, making it an 800m excursion by foot, wheelchair or village shuttle bus to go to the dining hall or transport mall from the Australian compound. The team rented electric golf carts, which proved very popular for navigating the Village. The lack of landscaping, weeds and bare dirt gave it a rundown look, not offset by the marble tiles in every apartment and balcony. But, of course, you can always make your own fun!