So, the Paras are ending tonight with as much fanfare as they came in with…if not more. It’s been 9 days of late nights, yeah, but there’ve been some awesome competition with standouts like Oksana Masters winning her first golds in 1.5 and 5km sitting sprint while competing hurt as well as being cute as a button and Declan Farmer, who LITERALLY won the USA Sled Hockey team’s gold. Everybody brought their A-game and then some.
Another thing I learned these Games were how they group the athletes based on their level of cripness to make the playing field the fairest they could possibly make it. I thought it was truly fascinating how they made all those logistics fall into place. Hats off to new IPC President Andrew Parsons.
But, most importantly, I’m taking away from these Games the stories. From the athletes born and bred to the athletes that suffered accidents to the cancer survivor to the vets that served and sacrificed…and, overcame to be literal stars. I’m truly speechless at the magnitude of their lives and accomplishments.
As a crip, I hate lip service. There is none here. Their stories inspire me. I have no words to adequately express what I’ve seen and heard. Now, these Ceremonies…just WOW! I’m watching a blind pianist playing the most anthemic piece I’ve heard in a long time accompanied by the most beautiful voice I’ve heard coming from a man. I’m in tears. I need a tissue. I’m done.
Be good to each other.