Wednesday, 5 September 2012


In Victorian times, people would pay to see 'Freak Shows' where they would be horrified by the sight of other people with physical deformities such as dwarfism or the loss of a limb or limbs. 

Currently, people are once again paying to see these people not because they see them as freaks, but because they see them as heroes. How times have changed. This surely says a lot for the development of the human race.

Whilst some may have watched the first few days of the Paralympic games with a sense of fascination at the range of disabilities before them, it wasn't long before we were all simply spectators watching superb sporting prowess and cheering on our favourites.

I have found my emotions out of control as I have watched these athletes and in case anyone has missed these examples, I have categorised them for you.

BASIC - 'Amazing'.
In the basic category which I call 'amazing' we have  seen people with no legs riding horses and wheelchair users playing tennis. There is also an archer who holds the bow with his foot and pulls the string back with his teeth.

INTERMEDIATE - 'Astonishing'.
In the intermediate category which I define as 'astonishing' there have been swimmers winning races by powering through the water having only one arm stump. Blind cyclists raced round the velodrome on the back of a tandem. Visually impaired footballers raced round the pitch wearing blindfolds. Just think of that when you next see a defensive wall in the able-bodied version of the game as they nervously place hand in front of their crown jewels. How brave is it to stand there blindfold as someone shoots for goal?

SUPER-HUMAN - 'Unbelievable'.
Finally there are the ones you don't believe until you see them. There are competitors with one leg who perform the high jump. Try it yourself by holding one foot off the ground. Did you manage 6 inches? They jump around six feet. I thought the one stumped swimmer was good until I saw the swimmers with neither arms nor legs shooting along in the water. Likewise, I was in awe of the bravery of the blind footballers until I saw the blind long-jumpers launching themselves forward into the unknown.

'Inspirational' just isn't a big enough word to cover it.

No comments:

Post a Comment