Admittedly I’m ‘wallowing’ a bit at present so my perception may be rather gloomy -!!

But are the Paralympics commentators implying that some of our athletes are fortunate to be disabled so they can take part in the Rio games?

No. They are not fortunate because they are disabled. They are not fortunate because they are at the Paralympics - they didn’t get their team places as a condescending charity gift or a prize like dog with the waggiest tale. They got their places because - on any objective assesment - they are talented and gifted AND they have worked on developing thos talents to a fantastic degree.


The only way you could say that they are “fortunate” is that these talented athletes can compete with (almost) the same recognition that competitors without disabilities do. 10/20 years ago who would have thought that the Paralympics would get as much attention and excitement as it does now? (Although a cynical bit of me wonders whether some people would be so keen if the GB Paralympians didn’t win so many medals!)

The thing about you or I possibly becoming Paralympians is this…

Were we sporty before we became disabled? Did we train hard for something that was stolen from us by disability?

If the answer is yes, then that’s sad. If the answer is no, then why gripe about how you view the commentators?

Being bitter will never improve your state of mind.



If I had not given up my old sport 25 years ago, I would probably have been in the 2012 Paralympics.

I was a pistol shooter. In 1979 I got to trials for the British Squad - but did not make it.
I turned to coaching, and the highlight was building a team that helped me build an effective Regional Squad.
There was more pleasure in getting squad members up to National Squad level, and training club and County coaches, than just getting good myself (but I did carry on competing).
I ended up as a fairly high-ranking official / Olympic selector / International Judge before the death of my only son at 27 made me give up my sport and concentrate on family.

The performers who get to the Olympics or World Championships have worked very hard to get there.
They deserve to be respected for what they have achieved. They were not “lucky”, just very very good at their sport.
On the way through I worked with several disabled shooters, and they were just as dedicated as their able-bodied colleagues.
Don’t knock anyone who has worked very hard to be the best.



Well said Geoff!

I’m very sorry to hear of the loss of your son. It must’ve been devastating and still hurt like hell today.

Congratulations on your achievements and yes, it can be just as rewarding to stand on the sidelines and celebrate with those you have helped.


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