Thursday, September 18, 2008
OK it's tasteless to even discuss it, but so what?
Now that they are coming to a close may I say that I have nothing but admiration for all the competitors in the Paralympics, and there are some wonderful examples of masterful feats and courage and all that sort of stuff. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to travel and to compete with people with similar ability.
I even know a couple of people who have competed in games past, and they are brilliant folk, who tend to think of themselves as "differently abled" rather than disabled, which of course leaves me terribly discriminated against.
At first glance I do appear to be "similarly abled" to the athletes in the real games, but in reality I am disabled by virtue of the fact that I can't run as fast, jump as high, or keep in time with anyone I jump off a diving board with. No matter how hard I've trained or tried, I've never beaten anyone at anything that can be remotely considered to be sport.
I can’t run as fast as the one legged runners, can’t swim as fast as that amazing bloke with no arms, and can’t see the ball as well as those blind goalball players, even with their eyes taped over, and I'm certain that even if I could throw a javelin as far as those blind athletes, I certainly couldn't throw it as straight.
Shouldn't there be an event or two for me to compete with other similarly hopelessly uncoordinated, genetically unsuitable "differently abled" people at our own level too? Why are we left to wallow in our own unfulfilled dreams of competing on the world stage, just because we are hopeless?
Many sports have grades of competition at a local level after all, my friend Rod won his golf club B grade competition last week, which means that he got a prize for being the best of the second best lot, when all but the winner in the best lot didn’t.
Why can’t we ALL compete internationally at our own level, at the people’s games?
I wouldn’t mind having a go at synchronised swimming I think, although I’d be terrible at it and I admit that the thought of being beaten by a team comprising two limbless, one palsied, and a blind girl all sloshing about to music is just a bit too much to contemplate.
Perhaps I should contact the girl who was sent home because she wasn’t blind enough, and the wheelchair basketballers who were disqualified when it was discovered they could walk, and see if we can find a category of disability that would allow us to compete on the world stage.
Perhaps a “Blistered thumb from video gaming” might be the start of a whole new sporting movement.
at 8:00 am