Last Thursday, myself and Lodz got to go to the Olympic Park to witness sport history in the making: We saw Hannah Cockroft win Gold, we saw Jonnie Peacock win Gold, we saw David Weir win Gold, and we saw a number of other superhumans overcome their disabilities and adversity to rise higher and higher. It wasn’t disabled sport. It was elite sport.
When we got the tickets for the 6th September, we only knew Oscar Pistorius and assumed that he would make it into the T44 100m Men’s Final and that would’ve been good enough. But, boy, did those Team GB Paralympians fight their way into the finals we got to watch! When the day came, we already knew that some of those finals scheduled for the evening session were going to be legendary!
It was such a brilliant day, such a fantastic atmosphere, with the sun blazing down and of course singing ‘God Save The Queen’ along with 80,000 voices THREE TIMES.
What I found especially brilliant was that there was a free exhibition, where visitors could experience what it’s like to play wheelchair basketball or how to handcycle. There even was a little area set up where people could drive around in normal wheelchairs trying to get over cobblestone pavements, how difficult it is to get up a hill, how to open a door, etc.
Wheelchair basketball was sooo hard, having to bounce the ball with alternating hands while the other hand moves the chair forwards and then you, if you properly play, don’t even look at the ball, but at the other players to spot the opportunities.
And handcycling? Holy crap my arms hurt so much (but hurrah for my guns haha)!
THAT was really brilliant. THAT opened eyes and minds.
It was just… it was amazing… Considering that the Riots were only just a year ago and London stood in flames back then, it was just beautiful to feel the atmosphere of love, friendship, happiness, joy, pride and unity…
We screamed, cheered and sang (and lost our voices).
We cried with happiness (and sadness that we had to leave).
We awed and ‘ooh’ed and ‘aaaah’ed.
We jumped (and broke one of those LED screens that are on each of those stadium seats).
We were 2 of the 80,000 voices that in unison shouted Jonnie Peacock’s name when he got his gold.
We were part of The Games.
We will never forget the day the ParaGB team won 3 gold:
We are eternally grateful that we got to experience this once-in-a-life-time summer.