Did you watch any of the Paralympics? What did you enjoy the most?
Before I went to the Paralympics I didn’t really think much about being in a wheelchair. I thought about it when I got stuck in a crowd or couldn’t get in a building. I thought about it when kids at school shouted hurtful things. But other than that, I hardly thought about my chair, let alone realise all the awesome things I could do with it.
That all changed after I saw David Weir win Gold in the Men’s 5,000 metre Paralympic wheelchair race. He was awesome! He controlled every movement perfectly and when it was time to sprint he zoomed ahead to the finish like nothing I have ever seen before.
Now I can’t stop thinking about my wheelchair. Sometimes when I’m alone, I try out different moves in it. I wish I had a racing wheelchair. They are the coolest, meanest machines ever.
I also saw Ellie Simmonds win gold in 400 metres freestyle swimming! She beat her own world record. How amazing is that? Both Ellie Simmonds and David Weir are British. Seeing them made me feel that I can do anything.
At the Paralympics I heard someone say:
‘Paralympic athletes have to work much harder than Olympic athletes. I think Paralympians are extra special.’
I don’t know if I agree. Paralympians are incredible, because they’ve worked so hard to be the best they can be. But Olympic athletes train really hard too.
Some things are definitely harder when you have a disability, but I don’t think I’m extra special because I use a wheelchair. To me, the best thing about the Paralympics is that people with disabilities got to do the same sports as able-bodied people, so everyone has the same chance to be an incredible athlete.
I hope that one day there won’t be any difference between how the Paralympics and Olympics are seen.
Do you think Paralympic athletes are extra special?
Image credit: Australian Paralympic Committee [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons