There’s the Olympics which get attention and Olympians who get the glory.
Then there’s the Paralympics which get less attention and Paralympians who are sometimes seen as lesser athletes than able-bodied ones.
*Robert Fulghum puts it better than I could:
The competitors at the Paralympics are people with no legs or arms who swim and row and cycle and run and jump. People who are blind and deaf and run races. People with Down Syndrome compete. There’s the guy who had no arms who won silver in archery, for god’s sake, and many of the participants have been torn apart in military combat and came back to compete with what was left of their bodies. . .
The mantra of our times is that “we gotta have hope,” but the competitors at the Paralympics live hope. Hope is not an abstract ideal for them – it’s a reality created by courage and pain and determination and . . .
I am in awe of the determination, focus, hard work and sacrifice it takes to get to the top in any sport. Olympians or Paralympians – they’re all champions in my eyes.
* I encourage you to click on the link to read Fulghum’s post in full.