- Candace Caddick
The New Post-Olympic World
First, I want to say that humanity has done more, jumped higher and run faster than anyone ever expected. Some of you who have been involved as spectators to the Paralympics have noticed that something very special has taken place over the last ten days.
The first Olympics brought together men and women of every colour to compete as equals, and that was an ongoing development from the previous decades. What was different was that for the first time the audience was colour-blind, and Usain Bolt is as big a hero as any to come out of the Olympics in recent years. The Olympics came of age with women’s sports showing how exciting their participation can be, and their games have a different quality and finesse to the strength of the men. When you begin to look past a person’s sex and the colour of their skin you find someone just like yourself – human.
These sportsmen and sportswomen were beautiful people who had trained for years and for hours every day to come to the Olympics and compete. In other words they are worthy of your admiration. Are you still interested in reading about the antics of someone who is famous because they want to be? Who have no claim to fame other than they strive for your attention? Can you walk away from them now?
The second half of the Olympics brought together sportspeople who have imperfect bodies and minds. They train just as hard and run almost as fast as the able bodied. When you look into their eyes you can see beyond their bodies to their souls so much more quickly. Their races and sports were just as exciting as the earlier Olympics. There is one big new development – that is these people are no longer invisible. When a group of people is invisible you have discounted and pushed them aside as being of no value, and that means you think they are sub-human. There are no sub-humans. These people are a healthy part of you and capable of living enjoyable lives. They need to be visible and have fewer obstacles to their own success.
We write a lot about the flow of energy. You had a group of disabled people sidelined and stuck in meaningless lives. I think every one of the 2.5 million tickets holders who saw what they could do will never see them as incapable again. Those of you in the areas that were able to watch these athletes have changed, and your world has changed. What was dark and stagnant now has light and flow, and you allowed some of the people with the greatest disabilities to thrill you with their skills and hard work. Your hearts were touched, and you bonded with the hearts of others. It’s been a time of happiness.
One day you will remember that you are all one, and it started with the London Paralympic games.
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