EDITORIAL: Remember the Paralympics

One of the greatest sporting events is about to take place in London.

One of the greatest sporting events is about to take place in London.

No, I haven’t been cloistered away somewhere, unaware the Olympics have just ended.

Aug. 29, the Paralympics 2012 begin in London and run to Sept. 9 bringing some of the world’s best athletes to the spectacle.

In listening to one of Canada’s paralympians speaking, he reiterated sentiments expressed time and time again.

He stated he public needs to be educated on the equal value of the paralympic games. He spoke of the same level of training, the same competitive spirit, the same pride of country and the same elation and disappointment over medals won and lost. With one runner in the Olympics competing with prosthetic legs, maybe it’s time to integrate the two spectacular events, allow the glory to be shared and the world to see world class athletes, both abled and disabled, on the same stage. Tennis matches with the same coverage, the same worldwide audience, the same accolades and same participator satisfaction.

After the Olympic 2012 games ended, there was much talk of games hangover, the deflation and the returning to the mundane once the stands were empty and the athletes had returned home.

Will the public re-energize, tune in and cheer on the Paralympians like they did the Olympians in London?

I admire every one of the athletes who train and follow their Olympic dream, regardless of their sport or their ableness. It’s certainly something I can only appreciate from a distance.

Paralympians are no different, no less worthy and certainly no less thrilling to watch than their able-bodied athletes, possible more.

Give these exemplary athletes the same credit and cheer them on for the exceptional people they are.

 

– Annie Gallant, Cariboo Observer