The Paralympics and the Journey of Jon Snow

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.
Continue reading

Thank You London, It’s Been a Blast

I love Ray Davies, and Waterloo Sunset is probably the best hymn to London ever written, and hearing a Beatles’ recording beat a live Macca hollow,but the moment I felt engaged with tonight’s closing ceremony was when they showed the footage of the highs and lows of the past two weeks.
Until that moment, I thought I might switch off and read my book. It has been an amazing two weeks. I freely admit I did not want London to win the Games bid. My friend Sarah was in Trafalgar Square when the news broke and was ecstatic. I had a more cynical attitude.
Well, she was right and I was wrong. Continue reading