Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Paralympics not Pitylympics

Yesterday was the last day of the 2012 Summer Paralympics that took place in London. Throughout the games people have been sharing photos of the athletes on Facebook and other social media platforms. Challenge plays a major part in sports in general. We love seeing people challenging each other as well as challenging their own selves. We love seeing records being broken. We watch the Olympics to see how strong, fast and high humans can go. And that is reflected in photos, except when it comes to the Paralympics. Or at least this is what I've noticed in the photos people share the most on social media.

The above photo is one good example of what I'm talking about. I'm not sure if you can read Arabic, but in most of the comments [Ar] on this photo on Facebook, people are basically saying, "Thank God who spared us from what he has afflicted other people". Please tell me if I'm the only one who finds such comments stupid and silly. We do not see the athlete's name under the photo, no one has any idea how he finished the race, what records he broke, or not. All what people have is a photo of him starting the race as well as pity on him.

Now have a look at the above photo. You think she felt down while running in some race or something, right? Well, no, that's the long jumping competition. And guess what, all long jump athletes fall down in the sand after they jump whether they are in the Paralympics or the Olympics.

Well, there are for sure comments about the athletes' strong will. They didn't give in to their disabilities and decided to play sports, just like non-disabled people. But why shouldn't they?

Okey, let me surprise you now. According to this article in the Telegraph. "The average man jogs at a speed of 8.3 mph, or 100m in 27 seconds", and "the fastest among us can sprint 100m at a speed of 15.9 mph, or between 13-14 seconds". In this year games, the Finnish athlete Leo-Pekka Tähti finished his 100m race in 13.63 seconds on his wheelchair. So he is fastest than most of us, while he is on a wheelchair!

May be this is how social media works. But let's remember that those athletes didn't go to London looking for pity, but they are there looking for records to break.

Till next post, I'll leave you with this beautiful short film, The Butterfly Circus, starring Nick Vujicic:

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