What the Paralympics Taught Us

Wheelchair Rugby (google images)

Disabled sports are hardly ever advertised or televised and it is generally assumed someone with a disability cannot partake in the same activities as everyone else. As we are all now aware this could not be further from the truth. Wheelchair basketball is one of the most violent mainstream sports, rivalled only by wheelchair rugby. I cannot think of any other instance where a disabled person is left to fend for themselves after being knocked out of their wheelchair.

You watch with awe as these athletes pushing themselves to the limit, not just to prove to the world they are as capable, if not more capable than most of their able-bodied peers, but to explore the limits of the human body.

We were watching the blind football, where the crowd has to remain perfectly silent unless a goal is scored so the players can hear the soft jingle of the ball. It was truly amazing. I can’t kick a ball when I can see the thing let alone have such ball control as these athletes did – and they can’t see a thing!

To me, and every other able-bodied person, it is almost inconceivable that the achievements attained by the Paralympic teams are possible. In some ways I believe they deserve more recognition than the Olympians since they overcome barriers which without their drive and determination would see them struggling to survive in our cut-throat modern society.

Ellie Simmonds – Paralympic swimmer (google images)

Not only do these Paralympic games teach the world that disability or illness should never stop you from reaching your dreams, they have provided an excellent block upon which foundations of understanding can be built. I agree that there are some things about disability which should never be said, but sometimes political correctness goes to far and prevents able-bodied people from accepting the disabilities of others and treating them as ‘normal’ human beings in fear of offending. I’m sure, in reality, that those with disabilities would much prefer their status as ‘wheelchair user’ or ‘MS patient’ etc does not define their identity. They are so much more than their disability and the Paralympic games have opened a gate for true acceptance, respect and unity.

The Friendly Games: Catching Olympic Fever

Today I felt a bit lost. No olympics. It’s only been on for what, two weeks? Yet it seems as though it’s been on forever and now its all over it feels like nothing will be the same again. I’m ashamed to say but I caught the olympic bug and now I’ve got post-olympic blues.

At first, the olympic games didn’t bother me, in fact I couldn’t wait until they were over. I saw the arrival of the olympic flame and wondered what the big fuss about, and then the journey of the flame seemed to go on forever. And what with the over-commercialised nature of the games, missiles on the apartment roof and the anxiety concerning security it didn’t appear as though it would be a successful games and that made me quite nervous.

By the time of the opening ceremony I only really watched it so I wasn’t missing anything the rest of the world were paying attention to. Even after that I didn’t think I’d be watching a lot of the actual sport. Monday morning came and seeing as nothing else was on TV I put the olympics on. For the next two weeks it was practically all I watched.

London 2012 has been called the ‘friendly games’ and from what I’ve seen that’s the truth, its made me proud to be British. Of course the media are only going to show the good bits and not broadcast any hiccups in the organisation or events, but don’t kill my thunder just yet. 🙂

Why should the community feeling only going to last for two weeks? Perhaps it’s my naivety but watching the closing ceremony shows how the world would be if we accepted our differences and celebrated them. It’s almost as if everything else was more or less forgotten for two weeks. (Not always a good thing as the earth doesn’t stop but does give an insight into what can happen when everyone gets along, cheers each other on and enjoys being together). Honestly, I’ll miss the olympics and the smiles of absolute joy on the faces of the gold medalists.

Anyway, I now know what the papers say about the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony and the olympics in general but what do you all think? Opening or closing ceremony – Atkinson or Idle? Most importantly, was it a success?

God Save the Queen

The olympic opening ceremony is long awaited by many in the country (primarily those luckily enough to aquire tickets). However, one who may not look forward to the event with the same excited expectation is the Queen, who regularly has to resort to earplugs in order to endure hours of concerts containing artists she would never choose for herself. The olympic opening ceremony playlist proves no different, with the likes of David Bowie and Dizzie Rascal included in the 80 odd tracks chosen by Danny Boyle.

Other songs/artists to appear include, ‘Tiger Feet’, Coldplay and Adele. Thankfull, however, Cheryl Cole is missed off the list as are Cliff Richard and Elton John, in an attempt to differ from Gary Barlow’s Diamond Jubillee concert the other weekend.

(From Daily Mail)

Olympic playlist graphic

Controversially, the Sex Pistols anarchist punk anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’ , originally released in 1977 (the Queens silver jubilee year), is destined to appear among partriotic favourites such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ during the olympic concert while the Queen looks on.

Banned by the BBC for it violent, personal assult on the monarchy the Queen will have to maintain a polite, diplomatic facade and endure it. Unless of course, officials get cold feet and pull it from the playlist before then.

Should this tune to be played to represent Britain? Or should it be avoided to save the Queen from sitting through 3 and half minutes of anti-monarchist anarchism?