Looking back at 2012 (I know early March 2013 is a strange time to do it) Great Britain had lots to be proud of. Particulary in the sporting arena with the Olympics and Paralympics being a huge global success as the spotlight shined on many athletes.
None moreso than the British. They were used to promote London 2012 pre games and most excelled during it giving the country a record breaking hawl of medals and several occaisions to remember. We even managed to break new boundaries by winning gold outside of our traditional “strong events” step forward womens Flyweight boxer Nicola Adams.
Adams, a true role model for kids. An advert for what you can achieve with a little natrual talent and a lot of hard work and dedication. She is also well spoken (none of your footballers “y’know” every other word) attractive and if reports are to be believed very down to earth and easy to work with. If you wanted someone to promote boxing related accessories or fashion, there’s your number 1 candidate. Even though I don’t agree with celebrities and sports stars cashing in. This is the pinnicle of Adams career, time to earn some well deserved money to reward her effort and sacrifices.
Lonsdale the clothing company. Have mixed boxing equipment and fashion since 1960 when it was founded. Boxing and martial arts, kitted out by Lonsdale London. It was accuired by Sports/Fashion retailler Sports Direct in 2002 and has continued links with boxing and sort out new opportunities by providing the football kit of Blackburn Rovers amongst others. Given that 2012 was such magnificent sporting year for Team GB. Who is on their promotional placards in Sports Direct shop windows. Which role model to young girls everywhere?
Amy Childs from TOWIE
She has a yellow belt in judo and huge fake tits, so yes in modern britain this and this alone qualifies her to be a sporting spokesperson. However the average viewer of TOWIE probably doesn’t know anything about the Olympics “Mo Farrah.. he was in 9/11 werent ‘e”
This is not a dig at Amy Childs, this dumb as a box of rocks barbie doll, does have a quite likeable quality on the odd times I happen to have seen her on TV. She is just taking the money some excutive at Sports Direct is offering her. He probably wants a go on her tits and has mother issues. He has done his job and can continue happily masturbating over Ms Childs publicity pics.
I feel sorry for the female youth of today. We have a media that continually robs them of genuine role models and instead presents Amy Childs, Katie Price and Kim Kardasian as an alternative A silcon enhanced barbie generation, that sets the “legacy” goals of London 2012 back to the dark ages.
On top for the best part of ten years. A lifetime of breaking down barriers, fighting to put right what once went wrong. (Ok so the last one was Quantum Leap) I’m talking about Paralympic poster boy Oscar Pistorius. Last night he lost, and then promptly lost it. You see the Brazilian guy Alan Oliveira who beat him had longer blades. This is the only reason Oscar lost, I mean it’s not like he ran a slower time than he did in the heat or anything (Pistorius set a new world record of 21.30 in a qualifying heat, Olivera’s winning time in the final was 21.45) no definitely the longer blades.
Olivera has less legs than Pistorius so has to have longer blades. Blades that were deemed legal by the IPC. Maybe just maybe this was a race too far for Oscar. If you look at the summer he’s had competing with Olympic athletes at the able bodied games has to take it out of you emotionally and physically. Then just weeks later to try and run at peak fitness to defend 3 Paralympic titles maybe is biting off more than one man can chew.
I know all about the battle Pistorius had to try to run with the able bodied in the Olympics. It must be a great personal achievement for him to have finally done it last month. But now that Pistorius is an Olympian how is it that he gets to complete in the Paralympics. Surely thats like me using my blue badge to park nearer the start line to a marathon, running in it, only to collect my disability benefit at the finish line. I’m all for personal achievement, but you are either disabled or not otherwise whats to stop Jessica Ennis coming around to my house to play hide the sausage...oops.. I mean competing in the Paralympic 100 meters.
Pistorius has for too long dominated everything he has done, and for every “he’s such a nice guy” I hear about him I think, it’s easy to be nice when you are winning. I think that part of the reason he fought so hard for Olympic inclusion was because he thought he was unbeatable by his fellow Paralympic athletes. “I’m bigger than this” I’m pleased he has been beaten fairly and squarely. It’s good for the sport. It’s even good for Pistorius, a wake up call.
All disabled people have to be driven. We all have to have a little bit of the bastard streak. Otherwise we will never do anything. This is why the disabled divorce and single rates are substantially higher than able bodied folks. Pistorius’ drive has taken him to the top of his sport even higher than that, for a few races last month he was “normal” living the dream. Last nights loss must have burst the bubble.. or cut through it like a longer blade.
Ok so I’m watching the Paralympics Opening ceremony. Channel 4 in the UK with wonderfully annoying adverts. It is however quite a spectacular show maybe without the panache of Danny Boyles olympic equivalent. Cheese laden gay disco anthem “I am What I am” finish hmmm. (nothing against the stunning Beverley Knight)
As quite a sporty spacker myself it is heartening to see the stadium full, to let all the athletes involved get some of the recognition they deserve due to a life time of dedication to their chosen disciplines. I completed at junior level at 2 Stoke Mandeville games, came second in the sprint, I lost twice once in the heat and once in the final to the same guy. Bastard. I did win the Boccia though, so yes I was UK under 11 champion. For those wondering Boccia is a bit like boulle but with soft hairless balls. (A bit like me at the time I seem to recall)
As moving as the vocals of Stephen Hawking are, featuring heavily in the ceremony as they do. It makes me wonder why in 2012 the Paralympic movement is needed at all. Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly more famous because of his disability but he doesn’t work in “disabled science” he works in “science”. The wheelchair has helped with greater exposure but it is his expertise that brought the opportunity.
All of the Paralympicans at London 2012 are athletes excelling in their chosen field like Hawking in his. Why then does their field have to be two weeks behind the able bodied athletes one. It reminds me of school sports days where we used to be able to take part but on a mat far away from the rest of the school. This is that mat but much much larger.
Yes there are logistical reasons why the Olympic games cannot be run at the same time as the Paralympics, with special arrangements needing to be made in accommodation and media, but there are special arrangements that need to be made lets say for Olympians who are muslim, vegetarian or gay. None of these minority groups have their own games. Nor should they. Why are the disabled so different?
London 2012 has set out the objective to inspire a generation. Time will tell if it achieves this. I can’t help but feel they missed a trick here. Superhumans they aren’t. They are athletes and under one olympic flag they should compete.
Good luck to all athletes competing. And I gotta say Go Team GB… oh and watch out for Wheelchair Rugby those fuckers are hardcore!