Paralympics 2012

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    Sep 09, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    Great job closing the ceremony, being my favorite as the olympian montage. Wonderful job London! This just turned me into an avid watcher of Paralympics - can't wait for Rio!

    Did you like the closing ceremony?
  • Thirdbeach

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    Sep 10, 2012 3:37 AM GMT
    As someone who live in Vancouver (host for the 2010 Winter ParaOlymipcs)
    I have become an avid Paralimpic fan.

    Go wheel chair Rugby!
    The paralympic swimmers were AWESOME!

    Cant wait for Sochi in 2014 and Rio in 2016!
    Go Sledge Hockey players!
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    Sep 10, 2012 4:34 AM GMT
    The Gaurdian today has a good article on what the author termed the "ultra olympics"

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/view.m?id=15&gid=sport%2F2012%2Fsep%2F09%2Fbritain-paralympics&cat=top-stories.

    For the life of me i can't understand why people still use the pejorative terms 'disabled' or 'para' when it's so obvious these athletes are anything but less than any other athlete. In 2012 it disgusts me that the Olympic movement runs a segregated sporting event. Unite The Games for 2016!
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    Sep 10, 2012 7:48 AM GMT
    It seems to me that your main point arguing against a united games is that something called an even playing field exists in all sport and therefore differently able bodied athletes would not have a framework within which to compete -- Oscar P against Usain B for example.

    My observation is that an even playing field is a myth period. Money, access to science, facilities, genes, whatever, the only possible true field would be between a set of identical twins. Sport as we know it has been premissed as inter-competitive based on this myth of equals and been extended perversely to create arbitraty lines of division between competitors such as gender and age and hpw many arms you have.

    Anyway, by uniting the games I meant that all the sports must be held under one idea which is that different sports create different athletes all of whom are deemed by their sport associations to be the best. The divisions of competition already exist (whether by weight, gender, sight, limb function etc) so why hold some of those divisions under a lesser olympic banner?

    The argument that only privileged countries create athletes in wheelchairs seems odd to make given that many Olympic charter countries in developing economies are barely able to support athletes in sports such as rowing.

    Like it or not the influence of human rights law is impacting on sport. Transgendered people and intetsex people are already winning their right to play at amateur and elite levels. The indefensible logic of male and female isisions are not going to hold. Sport will evolve to embrace this even if 'personal best' comes to replace 'winners and losers' as the measure of successful play.

    Lastly, if i wasn't clear, athletes using cheetahs to run with athletes using speedsuits seems fair to me if they're both going the same direction and pushing themselves against the clock. Likewise a two-legged basketball player wheeling around a court with team members without legs seems like a tenable game. And if a sport has divisions that require specific body abilities in whatever permutation of function then have at 'er -- be the best and enter the stadium the same time as any other elite athlete.
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    Sep 10, 2012 8:20 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said^^ Yeah, right....get a grip....if there was a 'unified games' none of those guys would get to compete (except the guy who actually did earn a spot this year, from South Africa --a total babe, btw.)

    Regarding the paralympics, you can count me "not a fan" for several reasons.

    1) It's the worst form of pandering, imo. Where the Olympics are about the pinnacle of human achievement, the para are about "doing the best you can with what you got."....how do you even compare the performances, year to year, between differently abled people? This is a feel-good gesture to add a fake "humanitarian" angle to what is otherwise a corporate/marketing fuckfest.

    2) There's what, 7 countries that actually support differently abled athletes to the point that they can compete? Not exactly a "world event".....more of a mutual masturbation session by western countries to pat themselves on the back for being so "Christian" regarding the "less fortunate".

    3) What the hell are some of these sports? The only way to play some of them is if you're physically challenged. Generally speaking, I don't think a fully-abled person would even be welcome participating in some of the team sports. Again, this is designed as an "also ran" games with sports that 99% of the world cannot and does not play....hardly a world-wide test to find human champions. When was the last time you even saw any of those sports on TV? ---where are these sports outside the Paralympics?

    4) Anyone (able bodied) can learn to run...it doesn't take a lot of money. Which is why a country like Jamaica can produce as many incredible runners as it does. How does a country like Jamaica even justify spending the kind of money required to build the different specialized prosthetic devices these athletes require for their sport? In the end, a good chunk of the performances here are "our scientists are better than your scientists" or "we can afford carbon fibre bionic limbs...you can't."

    5) The Olympic Committee forbade gays from using the term "The Gay Olympics" (which is why it was renamed "The Gay Games". THAT has at times been the largest sporting event in the world (we had it in Vancouver almost 20 years ago, and it was massive.) And Olympic level athletes actually compete at that thing....again, this is the first year a differently abled person has actually been able to compete mano-a-mano with athletes considered able-bodied. I'm bothered by the double standard: that a small group of--frankly--generally lesser athletes is permitted to use a term (that is part of our collective history), but we aren't because we would somehow sully its value.

    I know this post isn't gonna make me popular, but have at-er: I don't post based on what I think will make me popular here. And I truly think ALL of the participants in the Paralympics are AMAZING athletes, far and away more talented and dedicated than myself. So to be clear, I'm NOT trying to diminish the greatness of their personal achievements. I'm just saying it does not in any way, shape or form, meet the crowning pedestal of "ultimate best" that the Olympics purports to be all about. It's a well-chewed bone being tossed to the "unfortunate" to give them the illusion that they're eating the same meal. It's demeaning, imo, to all concerned, and even to the very idea of "The Olympics".

    It should be a separate event held under its own moniker. It should have no association with The Olympics at all, imo.




    Agreed. It is but a "feel good" event, to allow less-abled athletes have their moment of glory.

    If it were to be taken seriously, every event should field only competitors of similar disabilities. In the case of swimming, it would be unreasonable to think the swimmer without arms isn't disadvantaged to the swimmer who is missing a leg.

    Less-abled people, athletes or otherwise, are what they are. Saying they are no less able is akin to saying someone who is mentally deficient can function as well as someone of average intelligence. Clearly that isn't the case.

    A "Unified Games" is an ill-conceived idea that will never fly. Competing less-able athletes against able-bodied ones by negating the able-bodied's advantages will only serve to emphasise their physical shortcomings and is patronising at best.
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    Sep 10, 2012 8:56 AM GMT
    In certain sports only athletes with similar bodily ability play together -- like swimming. To see which ones, watch some of the recent tv coverage, but USA broadcasters couldn't be bothered to cover these 'lesser' sports so BBC channel Four did.

    Btw, check out some of the CBC coverage of the 2010 games in Vancouver; some kick ass 'less'able skiers did on one leg what i can't imagine trying on my two legs. Change your language and you change your world.

    Do you guys think women, and people of colour still should be in seperate Games too?
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    Sep 10, 2012 9:06 AM GMT
    iracetris saidIn certain sports only athletes with similar bodily ability play together -- like swimming. To see which ones, watch some of the recent tv coverage, but USA broadcasters couldn't be bothered to cover these 'lesser' sports so BBC channel Four did.

    Btw, check out some of the CBC coverage of the 2010 games in Vancouver; some kick ass 'less'able skiers did on one leg what i can't imagine trying on my two legs. Change your language and you change your world.

    Do you guys think women, and people of colour still should be in seperate Games too?


    They would bite the dust (or snow, so to speak) if pitted against elite skiers on two legs. While other elite skiers on two legs who didn't win know there was nothing else they could have done (they were simply beaten by a better skier), a skier with one leg may attribute his/her loss to the loss of a limb. They don't need to be reminded of that.

    And fact is women and people of colour aren't in separate games. All ethnicities and both sexes competed in the Olympics. By your logic, women should be evaluated the same as men and compete against men in the same events, despite their physiological differences. Women will then consistently lose in events like sprinting and be reminded that the loss stems from gender differences. That would be cruel.
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    Sep 10, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
    Wow, seems like you both miss my points completely. The tone of your writing also seems edgy. Perhaps this just isnt the propper forum for us to hear each other well.