Here's To The Wonderful Paralympic Athletes

Did you know that the Paralympics came to an end this week?

I am the first person to admit that I am not a big fan of watching people sail around a muddy lake, or sitting on horses. But when the Olympics were on, I couldn't escape it: Every day I got into the car I heard in which discipline we were going to try our best. I heard about the scandals, and funny luggage stories. I even knew when it ended because the television programme would go back to normal.

When the Paralympics started I barely noticed that anything was going on. Only when I happened to watch the additional news magazine which showed a summary of the Paralympics. It told me that Austria had made nine medals, which is top!

However, in the Olympics we made exactly one medal. It was bronze. And yet it had the whole coverage. I heard endless stories about how the wind was very strong and uuuh who can tell if they would manage - they didn't. And yet, when we actually win a real thing, the coverage this gets is ... almost nil. They deserve so much better.

I want those athletes to have the same coverage than the ones from the Olympics. And why?
Not only because they show injured people all over the world what you can achieve, that despite being handicapped your life is far from over, or that it also embodies the Olympic spirit which bring people together.
But for the most part because they were so much better! They are not second rate athletes because they happen to be handicapped. They are fucking good, in fact they were eight times better.

I should have stumbled over article of article about G√ľnther Matzinger winning bronze in the 400 meter sprint, and that he wasn't even sure if he finished second or fifth. I should have heard about Pepo Puch winning gold in dressage, and later winning bronze as well. And where was the story about Krisztian Gardos winning bronze and not even able to believe it at first?

I am, of course, glad that there is even a little coverage, and that all the information is easy to find by a quick google search. But only a small five minutes segment in the news is not enough for covering eleven days of sporting excellence.

So, here is for all those lovely and hard working athletes, who have worked hard to qualify for the Paralympics. And an additional special well done to those who took it further and won many medals: You fine people are the best, and I hope you are aware of it!

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