Those three words make up the Paralympic Motto: Spirit in Motion ... and have we seen so much spirit - quiet spirit as required in Equestrian Dressage events, - splash spirit as in the Swimming events, - action spirit as in twirling on the spot to throw the Discus, or lining up to run down the red track, or wind those arms to propel the wheelchair forward.
|Bertalda - Assailed by Spirits|
by Theodor von Holst
The emotion is palpable, the desire to win sets their faces, the sheer delight in being on the podium, the sharing, the inclusion ... all define these elite athletes (as they are elite) ... in their desire to achieve – to show the world what can be accomplished beyond the boundaries of impairment.
|Aled Davies' delight in winning|
Gold in the Discus ... he was not
going to miss out on his lap
of honour ...look at the joy
and jubilation expressed
Sport, as we know from Dr Guttmann’s pioneering work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, has given men and women a new frame for their lives ... be their inability arising from an accident, a birth defect or an illness ... to improving their body as far as possible, but more importantly to free their minds of disability.
Sport heals .... sport recuperates .... sport inspires ... we all use sport every day, though we probably are not aware of it ... we exercise, we keep ourselves as healthy as possible, we exercise our brain, we keep ourselves motivated ...
|Ellie Simmonds our 'golden swimming girl'|
... we’re essentially all the same – a few need us to help them go that extra mile, to help them get through their day and to increase their confidence, their outlook ... as they have overcome much, expressed so succinctly here:
The Paralympic Values (as set out on the fly cover of the book of first class stamps) are:
· Determination = n. fixed intention to achieve a predetermined purpose; resoluteness
· Courage = n. quality of character that enables a person to face danger or difficulty without fear; bravery
· Equality = n. a state of being equal; the condition of having equal rank, value or ability
· Inspiration: n. the power of moving the intellect or emotions; especially to elevate or exalt the mind
|Who isn't captivated ... Ellie with her 2nd Gold Medal|
at these Paralympic Games ... she won two last time,
and two in these Games and she's only 17!!
For sheer exuberance and absolute delight these athletes embody what it is to be human ... then they come off track, out of the pool, into the studio and articulate those feelings with such humbleness ... it beggars belief.
These Games challenge our preconceptions, should transform our thoughts ... these so called dis-abled athletes have worked harder, achieved more than most of us will ever do ... and they deserve all the credit humanity can give them.
|Sophie Christiansen with her Dressage Gold|
look at that smile ... isn't it wonderful
The golden achievers will get their Gold Post Boxes – many positioned near their parents’ homes – and their faces emblazoned on a first class postage stamp ... while others will have succeeded just by being at the Paralympics, or being a part of a future team ... dreams are made of these values ...
... the audience too plays its part in cheering heartily for the person who achieves, be they first or last, realising that the immensity of their achievement is greater – sport is the winner ...
... yet all who participate in this most gruelling of Games, that is The Paralympics, show unity and respect for each other ... they really are Spirit in Motion ... can we lesser mortals be the same, please.
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories