On the final day of the Paralympic Games, here are a few thoughts.
I was able to watch more of these games this year than in the past, despite the limited coverage.
What makes these games challenging to run is the fact that you are not giving out 2 medals for each event (men’s and women’s), but medals depending on different classifications of impairment.
For example, in short distance running there are events for different levels of visual, coordination, and physical impaiments. So, despite the fact that there are less events than the Olympics, there are more medals given out.
It is somewhat confusing at times with all the levels, and I did find myself at times trying to figure out the impairment, some which are obvious—missing limbs, some that are not—visual or coordination, and some that I hadn’t thought of—slow starting acceleration. In the end, it didn’t matter because the level of athleticism and competition was what shone through.
I saw some amazing athletes doing amazing things, achieving personal bests, Paralympic records, and winning the ultimate prize, a medal.
Congratulations to all the athletes, I can’t wait for the next.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
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