Why the Paralympics are better than the Olympics

September 13, 2016

Firstly this video. That is phenomenal. As a total football and physiology nerd that just blows my mind. The speed of the ball movement and accuracy of the shot show an unbelievably proficient nervous system, a lack of vision merely changing the inputs. To call this athlete disabled seems like a bit of a joke. That is some top shelf ability right there. Before the London games they ran an advertising campaign with TeamGB Paralympians called “Meet the Superhumans” and it smacked me in the face. They led with “forget everything you think you know about strength”. In between footage of amazing athletic ability was footage of the different obstacles the athletes either began life with or overcame along the way. War, car accidents, congenital limb changes. Absolutely they are superhuman.

The Olympics are no doubt the pinnacle of human performance. And a great example of the effect of money on sport, the disparity between male and female at the top end of sport and the pursuit of power and influence by government and business.

The Paralympics are surely then the pinnacle of human endeavour, determination and the pure joy of sport. And for all the physiology nerds, a wonderful showcase for the adaptability of the human body and brain.

They also serve as a gigantic kick up the backside for us sitting at home on the couch. We all have excuses as to why we can’t do the things we feel we should. We amplify and create problems to delay things that we find difficult. I’m an expert at this myself. But to look at the things other humans are capable of with a loss of function in one or many areas, you have to have a conversation with yourself. So cheer on the Superhumans and use that to motivate yourself to progress, move, improve in whatever way you have been delaying.

Until next time