Emily Goddard
Sir Philip_Craven_12-04-12Technology plays a key part in the improvement of all sports – both Paralympic and able bodied.

Whether it be lighter boots or balls for footballers, special suits for swimmers or running blades or lightweight running shoes for sprinters, technology has helped in the advancement of performance.

However, when it comes to Paralympic sport, I am concerned that some people prefer to give credit to the role of technology in an athlete smashing a world record over their actual performance.

This pays a total disservice to the outstanding performances of our elite full-time athletes who, just like their able bodied counterparts, follow punishing training regimes that push their body to the limit.

Oscar Pistorius_12-04-12
For example, in the last three years, Oscar Pistorius (South Africa's four-time Paralympic champion, pictured) has knocked two and a half seconds off his 400 metre personal best.

He's achieved this running on the same blades for the last seven years. Very few people give him credit for this and instead prefer to claim he has some sort of advantage.

Oscar's only advantage, like all Paralympians, is his sheer determination to be the best. I'd like to think his punishing training regime, which has seen him lose 17kg, has been the biggest factor in his improved speed.

To further underline my point that the improvement in world records is down to the athletes improved training regimes as opposed to purely the advancement of technology, we should look at the T38 class for athletes with cerebral palsy.

Evan OHanlon_12-04-12
At the last three Paralympic Games, the 100m world record has fallen from 11.56 seconds in 2000 to 10.96 seconds in 2008 (where it was broken by Evan O'Hanlon of Australia, pictured).

The London 2012 Paralympics will be a record breaker with hundreds of world and Paralympic records smashed as a result of full-time training programmes, advancements in sports science and, in some cases, technology.

The Paralympics cannot take place without the services and technology that Otto Bock (the Official Technical Service Provider for the London 2012 Paralympics) provides.

However, world records cannot be broken without athletes who have trained for years to hit their peak during London 2012.

Sir Philip Craven is President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and sits on the London 2012 Board