As I wrote in an August Word Wednesday Post, I love the Olympic and Paralympic games. I love the way entire countries rise up behind their athletes and how small acts of kindness between athletes make you realize that even in the heat of competition, people are inclined to help one another. One of the things that drives me absolutely crazy about the Paralympic games though is the way they’re treated in the media and by the general public. During the Olympics, I couldn’t log on to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook without seeing #Olympics or #Canada or one of the Olympic filters on a profile picture. During the Paralympics, however, I have had to actively look to find people mentioning the games. I understand that there is some degree of “sports fatigue” – in that a lot of people who aren’t necessarily into sports watch the Olympics but aren’t actually all that interested beyond their favourite sports. The 2 week wait between the Olympics end and the Paralympics begin also plays a role in diminished media attention and public appetite. What I vehemently disagree with is that the Paralympic games are in any way or shape less important than the Olympic games. Paralympians are elite athletes – period. If you think that just because someone is physically disabled, they aren’t training just as hard or just as athletically gifted as an able bodied athlete, I challenge you to go to the Canadian Paralympic Team’s Paratough website and try one of the Paralympian workouts. I tried the swimming core workout 4 days ago, and my abs haven’t forgiven me yet!
It’s really no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Olympics and the Paralympics. I’m a huge fan of sport in general and think that the Olympics can bring out the best in athletes, and enjoy watching athletes who aren’t making millions of dollars for their sport compete. Not that I don’t love professional sports, especially the CFL, but it’s nice to watch people who are doing sport for the love of it (and maybe for a lucrative endorsement contract). [Read more…]