Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Well, the Paralympics have now finished and I found them as good if not better then the Olympics. I have never really got into the Paralympics before. I suppose if the games are in a different time zone you have to make a more concerted effort to watch. However, as we had tickets to several events this year I made a conscious effort to understand the different classifications of difficulties. Channel 4 did a number of programmes before the games which were very informative if rather bizarely hosted by news anchor John Snow. So glad I made the effort. These athletes are remarkable. The adversities many have had to face just living their lives and then they have all the adversities an athlete has to face on top of that. There was many a moment of teariness. Jonnie Peacock our local 100 metre gold winning sprinter lost his leg through meningitis. Apparently when he in hospital with it the doctors told his mother that she should say goodbye. However she bent down and whispered - you keep on fighting son. And he has been doing it ever since. Look at this lovely hug he gave his mum.
One of the swimmers we saw at the Aquatic Centre only had half an arm but he went like a rocket and got the gold. It was just extraordinary. We also watched some Bocchia. The athletes mostly have cerebral palsy and some have no use of any limbs and they were controlling the balls using their mouths or sticks strapped to their heads. But you kind of forgot their disabilities and got caught up in the sport. Going to the Paralympic events was fantastic. I have never been anywhere so good natured. It is true the crowd was partisan but they cheered everyone, especially the people who got left behind. And they cheered so loudly. The noise in the Aquatics centre was quite deafening. I have to say the commentators at these venues do their best to whip everyone into a frenzy. The man in the Aquatics centre was relentlessy cheery. We were speculating if he was like that all the time so when he had breakfast he went. "Now let's give it up for the cornflakes! Make some noise for the cup of tea!" After three outings to the Paralympics I was quite exhausted from all this giving it up and making noises. And finally a heart warming story about the whole magical summer that shows Essex people are actually the best. The young man sent to meet the Burkino Faso team discovered that they didn't have anywhere to go. So he took the to his parents house and arranged for the women to stay in a convent in Brentwood. He sorted out training facilities and equipment. Essex people are great!

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