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Paralympics? What Are Those?

August 26, 2008

 The Paralympic Games start on the 6th of September this year. If you didn’t know this date, blame the mainstream media. I promise regular coverage on Same Difference, but first, I have a rant and some important things for you, my readers, to consider.

The Beijing Olympics have been planned, anticipated and trained for for the last seven years.  The preparation has been in the mainstream media on and off for the last four. But who has covered the Paralympic preparation? No one. It is a fact known to anyone who cares that the Olympics and the Paralympics take place in the same year, in the same city. But since no one told me when the Paralympics were starting, I wrongly assumed that both events were taking place at the same time, and wondered why there was no news of the Paralympics in the mainstream media.

Of course, the whole world knew that the Olympics were starting on the 8th of August. It was not until seventeen days, two spectacular celebrations, millions of fireworks and, in the case of Team Great Britain, 47 medals, later that the sighted eyes of the mainstream world finally turned to the 2008 Paralympics and those truly DisAbled men and women who will compete in this, the most prestigious event in amateur DisAbility sport.

I have three questions. One for China, one for the press, and one to the general public. First, to the press. They advertised the starting date of the Olympics for weeks before the event started. So why did they wait so long to advertise the starting date of the Paralympics? Maybe they don’t think DisAbility deserves to be celebrated as much as the ‘spirit of the Olympic Games’ does. Personally, I think they are wrong there. DisAbility Sport always takes more effort and determination than mainstream sport ever will, so, in my opinion, the Paralympians deserve equal, if not more, publicity.

My second question is for China. They chose to start the mainstream Beijing Olympics on the 8th of August because, as they told the whole world, eight is a lucky number in China. Obviously they thought hosting the Olympics would bring luck to their country. So why couldn’t they have chosen to start the Paralympics on the 8th of September? Don’t they think that hosting an event of DisAbility sport will bring them luck? Obviously not. Here, I can only hope that they will be proved wrong.

My final question is more of a general one. Is there any really good reason why the truly DisAbled Paralympic stars could not have had their event at the same time as the mainstream Olympics? That would have meant true inclusion for them, as well as a feeling of belonging, being truly welcomed and being truly wanted for DisAbled communities worldwide. Unless there is a really good reason why this would be completely impossible, I would just like to say that it is something that I, personally, would like the organisers of London 2012 to seriously consider.

All that is left for me to do is to promise regular coverage of the 2008 Paralympics on Same Difference, and to wish the truly DisAbled members of Paralympic Team Great Britain loads of fun, friendship, safety and success. Anyone from Team Great Britain who gets a medal will instantly make it on to this list. May the fastest wheelchair win!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Munawr Mannan permalink
    August 26, 2008 3:20 pm

    Fantastic Sara,

    Keep it up

    Love Muns

  2. August 26, 2008 3:58 pm

    Well, no-one has ever put the paralympics on at the same time as the olympics, it’s not the evil of China that has dictated it so. I’m sure if they really tried they could schedule both in together at the same time, but you have to admit that it is more simple to run it as two seperate events to avoid scheduling conflict? Look at the wheelchair tennis at Wimbledon, similarily put at the end of the tournament due to the volume of contestants and matches for the men’s and single’s tournaments…hell, even mixed doubles gets shafted down the line because of scheduling issues 😉

  3. samedifference1 permalink
    August 26, 2008 4:24 pm

    Thanks for your comments 🙂

  4. August 26, 2008 10:55 pm

    Nice Blog. Spread the word and hopefully people like you and I will piss someone off enough to realize disabled sports matter too.

  5. samedifference1 permalink
    August 27, 2008 12:13 am

    Thanks for your comments Dustin 🙂

  6. Souphansa and Soyi permalink
    September 7, 2008 11:48 pm

    nice, those facts helped us a lot

  7. Karl Mensch permalink
    August 7, 2012 6:48 am

    Paralympics? It’s a joke surely…. isn’t it? I mean, who cares? As if the ‘real’ Olympics isn’t bad enough, athletes spending years and years of their life in preparation for just one mind-numbingly boring and utterly meaningless race. How sad is that?

    But then we have to endure the paralympics. A collection of society’s misfits trying to convince themselves and everyone else that they aren’t really disabled. Yeah right.

    In the real Olympics for 1st , 2nd and 3rd they are awarded gold silver and bronze medals. I hear that in the paralympics, the awards are: An ice cream, a toffee, and a balloon.

  8. samedifference1 permalink*
    August 7, 2012 11:46 am

    Karl Mensch- I take it you’re being sarcastic!


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