“To even be breathing in the same air as other athletes was a privilege”
I know I don’t usually do blog entries directly about myself, but my experience was so amazing that I wanted to share it with you all. Firstly I would like to say that I am not bragging at all when I talk about my time at the Paralympics. Believe we when I say, I know how lucky I am to have had the opportunity. And what a night it was!
My friend Emma and I got excited by the world’s largest McDonald’s seen here.
Allow me to paint the scene. It’s Thursday 6th September. The night being dubbed ‘Thrilling Thursday’ for the array of medals on offer to GB. The most hotly anticipated event was the 100m T43/T44 for athletes with below the knee amputation, the build up to which rivalled Bolt vs Blake.
In that race, the medals could have easily gone to all the athletes. Pistorius, the most well known, in his worst event, his fellow countryman Arnu Fourie, double amputee America’s Jerome Singleton and a fresh faced Jonnie Peacock are the four biggest contenders.
The gold unsurprisingly went to Jonnie Peacock, the World Record holder. The silver was more surprising, going to a delighted Richard Brown, a relative Paralympic unknown. The bronze went to South Africa but not to the person I had suspected – Arnu Fourie. Personal Bests, Seasons Bests and Regional Records lit up the scoreboard. 60,000 people chanted ‘Peacock, Peacock’ as he began his lap of honour and belted out the national anthem as he proudly collected his medal.
This for me was a great moment. Jonnie Peacock receiving a hug from his hero Pistorius.
This is sportsmanship at its very best.
The focus of the Paralympics has mainly been on Oscar ‘The Blade Runner’ Pistorius, the fastest man on no legs. This has been a crucial games for him and for disability sport, a subject I will look into shortly.
You may have seen the race. If not, I will let you know that there were three attempts at the start due to loud noise. I don’t mean to get in a huff but some sporting spectators need to learn proper etiquette. You do not chant the name of the athlete loudly as they wait to hear for the gun; it’s just inappropriate. Don’t worry rant over now!
As is always the way, these pictures will not do the venue justice but this a great photograph to illustrate just how large the stadium is. As you can probably see we were right by the 200m starting line.
I can only say that as a former runner and sports super fan, to even be breathing in the same air as other athletes was a privilege let alone show my appreciation for them. My voice went by the end of the night and my ears were ringing from the roars.
I had the most incredible night and recommend anybody buy tickets to see future events at any of the venues that will still exist post the Games. My ticket cost £30 and was the best thing I have ever spend my wages on.
What did you think of the race? And have you been to the Paralympics at all?
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