IT'S PARALYMPICS, NOT PARAPLYGICS!
The Olympic games was magnificent, uplifting and everything the organisers said it would be, and nothing like its detractors wanted it to become. It was a wonderful advertisement, not just for the UK, but for every type of sport that was represented and for sportsmanship as well as the spirit of humankind in general. Never mind the politics, this was for the people taking part and for tose who cheered them on.
So how could that be surpassed?
I was a Scout Leader for 15 years and seeing the Scouts bringing the Olympic flame from the four mountain peaks in Davey Lamps was a moment of sheer genius. I then watched the opening ceremony last night and it was every nit as wonderful as the Olympics ceremony nearly a month ago, Apparently the budget was a fraction of the original event, but the enthusiasm and scale of the show was every bit as great, from the start with Stephen Hawking and Ian McKellen to the entrance of the athletes and the final firework display. Sadly, the Queen didn't enter by parachute, but the rest of the royals were there, with the understandable exceptions of the Duke and Harry).
Tonight I'm watching the wheelchair basketball match between GB and Germany and the momentum and agility of the guys makes the 7 feet multi-millionaires look playful in comparison. These guys mean business!
We already have our first gold thanks to Sarah Story in the track cycling and I have a feeling we'll have many, many more before the games end.
And all because a German doctor at Stoke Mandeville in 1948 refused to accept that soldiers with spinal problems were an embarrassment. He believed they had a future and how right he was. If he'd been alive today he would have been so proud ...not of what he'd achieved, but of what his Olympians had achieved because of him.
I'm sure Lord Coe would have been the first to agree that Sir Ludwig Guttman was a hero and the greatest non-athletic Olympian of them all!
Blog on, Dudes!