I've been sad, but not totally surprised, to hear that the Paralympics have not been getting much air time or press in many parts of the world. Here in the UK, they have been nearly as big as the Olympics. Perhaps it's because the Paralympics started in London and so were "coming home", but for the first time ever, all the events of the Paralympics games have sold out. In fact, it was just as impossible to get tickets to these games as the main games. The opening ceremonies were lavish and start-studded (Stephen Hawking!), as will be tonight's closing ceremonies. I'm very proud of Britain for being as interested in and enthusiastic about the Paralympics as the Olympics; it should be that way everywhere, and I hope Rio will build on London's example.
The most amazing event I saw was blind football. I had no idea it existed (or was even possible), so I was blown away when I saw it on TV. It sounds cheesy, but seeing these blind guys running around the pitch, playing full-on football, I really felt small. I don't know the backstory to any of the players, but just seeing what they were doing, and on an Olympic level, was humbling. I have total respect.
The ad campaign for the Paralympics was inspired. As the main games began, signs were put up all over the UK to promote the Paralympics, and they simply read "Thanks for the warm-up." And on TV was this ad, whose starting point is meant to be the closing ceremonies of the Olympic games. Brilliant.
I will leave you now as I am heading up to Mary Keany's place to watch the closing ceremonies and, as she has a view of the Olympic stadium, the fireworks.
Shame about the blackout abroad - you've missed a great show.
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