Saturday, 8 September 2012

I'm Sorry but I Don't Get the Paralympics..

Around 300 gold medals were won over the fourteen days of the London 2012 Olympics and of course it was a wonderful games for Britain.

The current Paralympics has in excess of 500 gold medals over ten days - China has already won 87 gold medals.

I don't know why but the Paralympics has completely passed me by. The media onslaught trying to get us "interested" has been unrelenting - papers like the Metro and the Evening Standard carry pages concentrating (of course) on the British team and their achievements. There's no doubt the events themselves have been popular -  a colleague in my office has gone four times. It seems to have been a kind of end-of-the-school holidays treat for families to go along if those I saw going through Waterloo last Monday and Tuesday were any guide.

And yet...despite all the bonhomie, flga-waving and bluster, I'm left completely stone cold.

I don't know why - one can only admire at the fortitude and dedication of each and every Paralympian all of whom have overcome either an accident of birth, an illness or a tragic accident to rediscover their identity and a core of themselves in sport. Every story of every individual is positive and life-affirming.

And yet...

I think the fact that there are so many medals cheapens the event - perspective gets lost when it's medal after medal after gold after gold after story after Storey (so to speak). I can barely name the British summer olympic gold medallists (and some are already carving out their post-Olympic careers) and I've no chance with all the Paralympian medallists.

On Monday, we will have a "victory parade" as the Government and media try to keep the Olympic Spirit going that little bit longer to stop us thinking about what's really going on. I want no part of this nonsense. "Victory Parade" - has there been a war? Why are we indulging in this pointless piece of bread-and-circuses? Indeed, there have even been calls for school children to have time off lessons to attend.

Are these athletes our new "heroes" ? Yes, they've performed well but they have their rewards around their necks and doubtless there will be Honours for some and lucrative media or film careers for others. Still more have an ongoing sporting career and will try to recapture this summer's achievments in the rather less hospitable climate of Rio de Janeiro in four years time.

If we are to have parades for the deserving, there are many others we should see marching. Instead, it's an excuse for the twin oafs, David Cameron and Boris Johnson, to pretend to be tribunes of the people.

It's sickening and I won't be watching it or going anywhere near it.

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