The technical ability of Russian and Moroccan athletes in Sitting Volleyball on Tuesday, well they would beat most of the population without trying. We saw them smash the ball from a sitting position and it was only when they got up for Technical Timeouts and people hopped or slid across the floor that the impact of what they had done, really hit us. A lower net doesn’t make it any easier to play from a sitting position and palming that ball down for a smash was done in the flicker of a second.
It’s all about ability and what you can do. And kudos to the British government, who have already come to this conclusion with their new Personal Independence Budget, so much more positive and moving forward and what a leap we have here. A thousand people in that arena must have thought about it afterwards. I’ve been in this field of ability for six years and I was still guilty of seeing people as unable to do something so that they could get state financial aid. Today I’m ashamed that I ever thought it and I never will again. It’s not every day you see such able athletes.
We clapped every point of both teams, even if we couldn’t pick out the top scorer at the end as his name was in Cyrillic alphabet letters: C. Any Russian speakers, can you identify him for us please? We did a Mexican Wave which they probably put down to the crazy British. There was a TV Presenter who was so natural and clear-speaking that I could hear him and suddenly my whole block waved. It turned out that he was standing in front of it and had turned and waved at everyone.
And it took a child to show the adults when he had just seen people swimming and putting goggles on with their teeth (difficult to put on with two hands yet they just got on with it) and getting back into wheelchairs. He asked a guy on the train with that perfect naturalness that children have about how long he had been in a wheelchair. And the guy explained all about it and how it worked and then the adults started talking to him. The nine-year-old hasn’t stopped talking about the Paralympics since. The only thing he can’t quite understand is that this is something his grandparents haven’t done, that he and his sister will be the only ones in the family to see the Paralympics in Britain in his lifetime. This is about living and doing and they’re going to the closing Ceremony. Have a spectacular time.
Meanwhile, today we’re off to watch the Table Tennis. From seeing the links below, I’m so excited. Security is very tight, there is a reassuring police presence and the Volunteers are lovely. Big thank you as well to Network rail staff who are out in force to help us all. Travel time was far quicker than usual on Tuesday and my local station is running trains every 15 minutes, instead of twice an hour. Phenomenal organisation.
- A million fans make the Paralympics the true ‘Londoners’ Games’ (standard.co.uk)
- Paralympic Table Tennis Shot Astounds and Inspires [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
- London Paralympics 2012: a child’s eye view of the Games (guardian.co.uk)
- Wheelchair rugby (aka Murderball) is four different kinds of awesome (video) (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- This Is ‘One of the Best Table Tennis Shots Ever’ (wired.com)
- ParalympicsGB highs and lows so far today (itv.com)