Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Real Fighters In Sports

The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games opened on 6 Sep 08. There was no live telecast and the world received the event with great indifference, a far cry from the Summer Olympics opening ceremony just a month before.

Paralympic Games started way back in 1960 with the aim to emphasize the participants' athletic achievements, not their disability. However, some argue that the paralympics are not 'real' sports events. These people are probably looking for the 'actions' rather than the 'spirits' encapsulated in sports. There is a perception that it is just a means of rehabilitation for the disabled or a form of social welfare.

To me, the paralympic games is a humbling reminder for those who are blessed with abled bodies. It is a humane call for everyone to always put in their best, giving no regard to how others might have been better. Unfortunately, in this highly competitive world, we often compete with others rather than ourselves. We race ahead of our competitors at the expense of corroding the quality of our own humanity. In this sense, we might just be 'disabled' mentally.

The Singapore Paralympic contingent has quietly done us proud by winning historic medals, 2 bronze and one silver in the equestrian and swimming events. There was no similar rush of adrenaline seen when our paddlers won that much sought after medal last month.

The underlying reasons for the overall lukewarm reception could be the absence of commercial agenda and deficient humanity. Whatever it is, there is no lack of well wishers and salutes to the sportsmanship amongst the paralympians. Forget about your TVs, catch the numerous footage in YouTube or (FYI: I have no luck on this site !) Enjoy the clips and be inspired !

To all the paralympians, you have my highest respect ! All the best !


Other Olympics Stories:

From The Ancient Greece To The Middle Kingdom


The Gold Rush and The Medal Drought

The Human Sailfish

Will You Eat That Humble Pie?

The Human Race To Infinity

We Have A Date in 2012

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