London Living: Paralympic Blues


With the closing ceremony tonight, it’s hard to think of what we’ll be doing without the Paralympics & Olympics. When initially announced that London had won the Olympics, there was a great deal of  cringing in London, imagining all of the chaos caused transport and facilities-wise, but actually it’s been ok. It’s be more than ok really – after the main Security problems, and our Army boys stepped up, the trains have been busier (Ok, I’m not in East London where it’s based, but I do live near one of the main stadiums) but there hasn’t been much armpits smooshing, the traffic seems to have been managed quite well, and the Games volunteers were in a league of their own. This is the largest Paralympics in history, with 4,200 athletes from 164 countries — 2.5 million tickets were sold before the Games began, and the Olympic Stadium is sold out for every session.

The last 5 weeks have been so Games-centric it’s going to leave a void in our lives, for awhile at least. We have watched the Games (live and continuously on TV), discussed results being broadcast to us continuously, laughed over the water cooler and cried at the defeats.

Congratulations to the amazing Olympians and Paralympians, without you the Games would be rather pointless. You’ve given everyone a kick up the butt, and shown the amazing things that the human body can achieve – with commitment, determination and passion. The Paralympians especially have won everyones hearts – from Oscar Pretorious’ wins and competing in the Olympics, to Mary Sayer, a Lower Hutt girl winning Gold. Maybe because we are in the centre of the maelstrom, but I think that these have been the biggest Paralympics coverage that I’ve seen, and the support is phenomenal. Even the negative coverage; overseas News networks not showing or highlighting the full achievements garnered by their Paralympians has sparked outrage, but with today’s social media outlets, people power is changing the face of the world and the outrage had pulled even more positive reaction.

We didn’t manage to get Paralympics tickets, but have been avidly watching the coverage, and it’s great (in some non-selfish ways) to see that the tickets have been selling out. It can only get better from here on in, and the legacy the whole Games are leaving is so important – Tourism, development and recognising the superhuman efforts that these guys have made – overall I think it’s been great. Hopefully the legacy of the buidlings and development in the East end is also positive. London is such a vibrant city and will continue to develop and morph.

Cheers & see you all again in Rio!

Todays workout: Rest day, couch potato-ing for the closing ceremony!

What has been your favourite event of the Games? We loved the Diving, and the sheer ferociousness of the Paralympic Basketball. Wow.

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