Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Spirit in Motion ...

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
c 1830

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.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Lynn said...

I am captivated! So wonderful. I have a young friend who participates in track and field events and is so proud - we are proud, too.

Old Kitty said...

Oh I am totally totally loving the paralympics and especially now that I've got the hang of Channel 4 coverage! Excellent stuff! Take care

Elise Fallson said...

I don't have tv but I have seen snippets here and there of the Paralympics online. "Spirit in Motion" describes it best. These athletes truly are inspirational.

Golden Eagle said...

The Paralympics--the athletes who compete in them--are really impressive.

A Lady's Life said...

I think its wonderful they have para olympics.
It gets people involved in something they can be proud of.

Mark Koopmans said...

Thanks for an inspiring post....keeping this for motivation:)

M. Reka said...

Beautiful post, Hilary. These athletes are really inspirational.

Short Poems

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - it is so true ... so many of the population are just entranced at the whole aspect of taking part and then those smiles at winning ..

.. it's great you're seeing at first hand your friend, and being able to share his/her success and joy at just being around and achieving. I'm sure you're proud too ..

@ Old Kitty - yes I'm sort of getting there with Channel 4 - but it is quite incredible at what we're hearing and seeing ... mind boggling - in a very good way.

@ Elise - glad you're getting to hear about a little of the Paralympics - it's so worth it ... so am pleased the post describes it well.

@ Golden Eagle - you are so right and from all walks of life, and all disabilities ... very very impressive.

@ A Lady's Life - having both the Olympics and Paralympics here seems to be working really well - the nation's eyes are being opened, and the word is being spread world wide. I'm very pleased to say ..

@ Mark - with your ambition to run a marathon .. this will hit the mark won't it ... and this time you will succeed ... your post was inspiring ...

@ Marinela - delighted you enjoyed the post - many thanks.

Cheers everyone - hope you can see some on the net or read about the Paralympics .. Hilary

ana said...

Hi Hilary.
I to felt very emotional.

cleemckenzie said...

How fantastic these events are . . . for everyone--the participants and the spectators. Lifts the spirits.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ana - it's amazing to watch isn't - I hope it keeps up after the paralympics are over ...

@ Lee - they are fabulous to watch - such smiles and sheer joy ... I hope you get to see some of it.

Certainly lifts the spirits ..

Cheers Hilary

Linda said...

Thanks for giving these inspiring athletes one more place to shine!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda .. - they're still getting places to shine - I'm so delighted to say .. they deserve all the attention they can get.

Cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful event and opportunity, as you said, to shine. I am inspired. Thank you for sharing, Hilary!

Have a wonderful rest of the week,

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The whole event went by too fast. You do justice to them, Hilary. Beautiful post!

Southpaw said...

Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post.

Marja said...

Amazing stuff. Great achievements.
See you have a golden swimmer as well!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - it's really being amazing and so interesting to see the different categories - I'm inspired to write about it ..

@ Joylene - it's nearly finished - but will be stimulating a lot of discussion and realisation that we're all humans - with great talents - it's been a wonderful showcase ..

@ Holly - many thanks

@ Marja - yes we have a few golden stars - with lots of silvers and bronzes - but the youngsters are coming through too ...

Thanks everyone - lovely to see you .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

Your marvellous posts have brought the paralympics alive for me. Thank you Hilary.
(PS Still not getting your posts, will try signing up yet again!)

Lisa said...

You captured and expressed so well. A wonderful post Hilary. And Hilary, to be a Friend or Subscribe at Live High 2, you just hover the cursor onto the black bar at top right. Thank you Hilary.

scarlett clay said...

I love the value of equality, having the same value. That is so important to me personally as the mom of a special boy. So much joy and happiness in the photos of the competitors,too!

Deniz Bevan said...

I was thinking of these athletes the other day, and how so many are so young that they still have "I'm invincible" attitude, and I think that must give them such a drive to push beyond their limitations. Hmm, not expressing it very well. I'll think about it some more...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - many thanks .. they are inspirational and certainly have brought Britain alive to Paralympics possibilities ... which then relay to everyone .. Certainly the British cannot ignore disabilities every again ...

Sorry about the Sign-up hassles ... cannot think why --

@ Oceangirl - glad you enjoyed the post, thank you. I subscribed and now the comment link appears too .. I'm glad to say!

@ Scarlett - yes you will relate a great deal to the raising of the profile of special kids .. it's good to see you here reminding us ...

The absolute delight of the competitors has been just fantastic to watch - sharing with the world at last ... not just a very few supporters.

@ Deniz - yes they've been commenting on how the London Paralympics has inspired the youngsters, and those following on behind ... the profile is so high right now - long may it remain.

That invincible attitude is there, but gosh they've worked so so hard to achieve so much ... trained, trained, committed etc

Great to see you all - cheers Hilary