Sunday, 9 September 2012


The oversized ParalymicsGB flag is still draped over a chair in the kitchen, and weekend paper supplements still litter the house - it is safe to say we are finding it hard to say goodbye to summer of sort we have had! Th Olympics were everything we thought they would be, but the Paralymics really delivered the moments of the summer plus do much more!
I was lucky enough to spend several days in Stratford watching some of it, and the excitement and passion of elite sport was there in abundance, but this was elite sport PLUS! Watching it was by far and away the most moving, humbling, inspiring and motivating thing I have ever seen! To see these athletes perform is such a privaledge, to see them excel and despite everything. It had a very personal message for me; I can do sport, I just haven't found the way yet!

Legacy is such an overused hyped-up word, but I had my own private legacy - overnight (well, in the space of 4 days in the Olympic Park) I went from being really ashamed of my stick and orthotics to not worrying about been seen out in them at all! It is soo liberating, and I only hope it lasts!

Amid all the awe of their performances on the field I was struck by a slightly pessimistic side - will everyone think all disabled people can do everything?! Again The Times answered my call and during the Games featured an article detailed all the medical assistance and care these athletes needed - it was so refreshing to hear about the boring and mundane side of disability and brought hope the reality of lives for these athletes when on the track or in the pool. A little dose of realism amidst the glorious celebration that was strangely very welcome!

The people we watched in London 2012 are the pinnacle of their populations - not all Somalian refugees can run 10,000 that quickly, not all Jamaicans can run 100m in under 10 seconds. The dames applies for disabled people! They are the rare cases just as able bodies athletes are among normal people!

Channel 4 did impress me with their coverage, but one part left me distraught - a wheelchair athlete was asked if would turn back time and avoid his car accident that put him in a chair. With our ANY hesitation he instantly replied with 100% confidence that he would not. I spent a long evening debating if I would want to turn back time - the answer is far from certain, but certainly verges towards "yes I would change things". Would I ever be in a position to answer that question with the confidence that he did?! I don't know, but boy is it a good thing to aim for!!!!

I admit I have more than a few thoughts around "having no legs seems so easy compared to my conditions", "would I rather loose a leg?" . . . What is easier?! Well, neither! They all have different challenges and limitations. It is not a case of comparison - but despite differences, the inspiration should be equal for all!

Role on Rio 2016!!!!!

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