It’s the second day of Car-Nee-VAL here in London (Notting Hill Carnival to be exact) and I’m missing out again. It’s been 10 years since my last Carnival and a little more than that since I took part. I can’t complain too much though because I am part of something much bigger and significant this year. The Paralympic games Opening Ceremony and I can’t wait. I had the fortune of performing in the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. I was there – on stage when this:
Anyhoo when you have an image like that burned in your retinas it’s a hard thing to swallow coming back to ‘normal’ life. 150 hours was spent rehearsing for the opening, in the rain mostly. I met wonderful people, I met truly remarkable human beings who really inspired me and I had the best ‘summer’ in a long time.
When the chance to take part in bringing the world to its knees before what is going to be a truly beautiful and extraordinary Paralympic ceremony, I didn’t even flinch.
Four weeks after showcasing in-front of 80,000 spectators, and the rest of the world, what we here in the UK could do in a matter of hours we do it all over again on the 29th of August; but this time we go harder and we go better.
The Paralympics motto this year is not only to ‘inspire a generation’ but to bring in the Superhumans that these games participants truly are. This year the committee, with the help of Channel 4, have really gone out in campaigning the Para’s. It’s about time too; I can honestly and perhaps a little sadly say, that it’s the first time I’ve really been interested even excited about the Para’s. It’s not even about focusing on what they can’t do or the limitations that we associate with disabilities (even in 2012) – these guys are saying ‘Thanks for the warm-up’ to the rest of the world, a nod to the Olympics for their wonderful turn in bringing attention to sport – but now the real contests, the real super human battle commences when these sportsmen and women who have probably had to train just as hard on the field and harder out of it because of the worlds prejudices.
Unfortunately I have witnessed at first hand the limitations outside of the participants themselves that the games have to face. It’s unfair the lack of funding and man power that there is behind the para’s in comparison to the Olympics. It’s obvious why, but its not right. However this year the Paralympic sportsmen and women are making people take notice and what’s more is that they’re not being coy about pointing out their differences, but say they’re better for it. It gives me goosebumps of the best kind; here is the trailer for the games and a trailer for Wheelchair Rugby:
I am so proud and happy to be taking part. I can tell you now, from what I have seen – it’s going to be a spectacle of superhuman proportions.