Celebrating the Paralympics
Posted by Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, at 10:19, Fri 31 August 2012:
I was absolutely thrilled and honoured to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics this week.
Many commentators have already remarked on what a transformational opportunity this is for how we understand the nature of disability. The paralympians are remarkable athletes, and it’s as athletes that they want to be perceived. The paralympics will put disability awareness front and centre of people’s thinking, and I hope they will really help to challenge the stigma, fear and ignorance that still too often surrounds disability and disabled people.
We should be very proud of the 2012 paralympics. It’s great that more tickets than ever before have been sold, and that 4 times as many people watched the opening ceremony as in Beijing 2008. It’s great that Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson, a former paralympian, says that having expected that she’d have to nag Olympic organisers not to forget the paralympics, she found that they were right at the heart of everyone’s thinking. And we have some fantastic British competitors taking part, so we should be well –placed to repeat the medals success that we saw at the Olympics earlier this month.
I’m looking forward to two more weeks glued to the telly, and I know we will see some amazing sport.