A lot has been made of the upcoming Olympic Games in London, but it must also be noted that this is a big year for the Paralympics as well. Oscar Pistorius is making headlines alongside able-bodied athletes, sure, but he is an ambassador for a competition which has grown from strength to strength, and will continue to do so.
Yesterday Channel 4 in the UK released an advertisement for their comprehensive coverage of the Paralympics, entitled ‘Meet the Superhumans’.
This unflinching and inspiring footage has already received acclaim in the country, with many applauding Channel 4 for their keen focus on the lesser publicized competition. Investment is always needed and this is a step which can only raise awareness.
This network is not the only one to try and foster awareness, though. Citizens of Canada have already been vocal in their support of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s one-shot masterpiece, showing a runner lapping several horrific incidents before fading out to the emblazoned heading ‘Unstoppable.’
This comes after news surfaced that nations like South Africa will be offering large cash incentives for their victorious athletes in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Paralympic gold medalists will receive a quarter of what their able-bodied counterparts earn, which may jar with some, but this may be a political move as SA traditional do better at the Paralympics than they do at the Olympics.
SA also boasts two of the most iconic Paralympians, with the ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius owning the track and Natalie Du Toit ruling the pool.
Indeed, with a brighter spotlight on 2012’s Paralympic Games, stars like these two –as well as Esther Vergeer of Holland, Tatyana McFadden of USA, Ellie Simmonds of the UK, and the Australian wheelchair rugby team –will help the event reach the world.
Pistorius said of his Olympic exploits that, “I hope that my presence in the Olympics will definitely draw attention to the Paralympics.
“If I look at already how much attention the London Paralympic Games has got, it is amazing.”
There is inspiration to be found round every corner whilst the Paralympics run from the 29th of August to the 9th of September.