Tonight’s the night. The Paralympic Opening Ceremony. I’m guessing that over the next two weeks we’ll become as familiar with some of the athletes as we were with the Olympics, or the Warm Up Act as they are being called now. Channel 4 has done a great job of getting us up to speed with some of the sports we never knew about, and I loved Jon Snow’s description last week in The Guardian of his experiences when he tried blind cycling:
As a cyclist, though, I have to confess that blind cycling is the sport that finally scared the Lycra pants off me. A few months back I made my way to the Manchester velodrome to experience the sport. The track was swarming with Olympic and Paralympic cyclists alike. It was here that I encountered some of the British military amputees from the Iraq and Afghan wars. Some had lost a leg and sported incredibly engineered prosthetics that were cleated into the pedal. Others had lost an arm and were aided by brilliantly conceived handle bar grips attached to their artificial arm.