Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Paralympics

Don't know where to start really...such an amazingly fantastically inspirational day (not to mention that I managed to get the 2 boys, on my own, across London to meet Mr C).  We left from here and parked at Snaresbrook to gt the underground into London.  Mr C got off at Stratford to collect the tickets and the boys and myself had to get to the Natural History Museum.  No'd think.  But, given Mr Chops' propensity for 'quirky' behaviour and my downright worrying bordering on really annoying, I was completely dreading it, not the least because we had to actually change trains.  Mr C did say after the even that it had occurred to him that even he hadn't taken both of them across London on his own...did he think that hadn't occurred to me?????  I there is something to worry about, I will worry about it...and I wonder where Mr Chops gets it from?!!!!!  Mr B takes everything in his stride so that was kind of something less to worry about.  But I needn't have.  Despite getting on the wrong train, not being able to get tickets at the outset and then not knowing what tickets we needed, Mr Chops came up trumps.  While on the wrong train he heard that the next stop could be for people changing to the district line....we duly got off, asked a guard and...hey presto...lots of prayers later we were at the NHM.  We even managed to find Mr C, eat at Bella Italia and get the tube tot eh Olympic village.  A few minor 'blips' in between but they were of no consequence in the end.

We did get seperated at the enterance but Mr B and I forged on through security...stopping to be frisked because I had left my phone in my pocket and then my bags searched where and they discovered a crochet needle...whoops.  The security woman thought it didn't pose much of a threat as it was blunt...but I offered to hand it in anyway...unfortunately she wasn't up for any impromptu crafting so let me keep it...I tried!

A few things struck me about the place.  There is absolutely no litter....anywhere.  ALL the games makers (these people are heroes) and so helpful and cheerful, even when we were leaving at 10pm and they must have been on the go for hours.  The armed police were very discreet and not at all alarming...the last time I encountered armed police was in Chicago airport at 3 in the morning and they did not make me feel at all safe!  There was hardly a queue for the was not a warm day so I think there would have been had we been drinking loads of water.  The food wasn't the cheapest and we couldn't be bothered to queue for Maccy D's...the coffee was vile though!

BUT we saw Hannah Cockcroft win gold and saw her medal ceremony...very moving.  When she was racing we, along with 80,000 other people, were yelling our heads off.  The atmosphere, even for athletes who finished way behind everyone else, was wonderful.  We weren't there on the day that an athlete got a 7 minute standing ovation while he ran the rest of the race to the finish ion his own but we were there to see David Weir win his heat...the noise was mind blowing.  One of the athletes in this heat was about 300m behind everyone else and the cheer to the finish line for him followed him all round the stadium.

Last summer, during the riots, I was utterly ashamed of my country and the people that behaved like that.  they made us look bad to the rest of the world.  This year, I couldn't have been prouder.  Disability or not, it didn't matter, we were there to support the athletes and that is what we style and with bells on.  It is so hard not to sound patronising, and I don't want to, but the athletes competing were truly inspiring.  The things that many, if not all, of them had overcome to get too where they were, would be to many of us, insurmountable.  If I had had my legs blown off either fighting for someone else's war or simply sitting on the tube, I really can't see that I would have to drive to turn it into something positive.  If I was born blind, the last thing I would want to do would be to run as fast as I possibly could in some direction trusting someone else. 

And it inspired my children too...they saw that whatever circumstances you are in, you can be awesome :)

Amazing seats.  The whole place felt huge but also very intimate

I was enjoying myself...I am just naturally miserable looking and I appear to have a double chin!!!


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