ON YOUR MARKS…..
The Paralympics are starting soon and it’s worth repeating that the Special Olympics provide athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and are more focused on the recreational aspect of sports. Aidan will always be my favorite Special Olympian.
The Paralympics are primarily for people with physical disabilities. They are built on the competitive notion of elite performance sports. Paralympics are organized alongside of, or parallel to, the Olympics so that whichever country hosts the Olympics will also host the Paralympics.
The motto for the Paralympics is “Spirit in Motion” and the symbol on the flag is three agitos which is Latin for “I move.” As someone who knows that wheels can change a life, I couldn’t possibly love this any more.
On February 26 the Paralympic torch started it’s journey through all 8 Russian Federal Districts with a stop over in Stoke Mandeville UK, the birthplace of the Paralympics. It will be carried by more than 1,000 torch bearers.
For 10 days starting March 7th more than 690 athletes from 45 countries will compete across 7 disciplines of 5 sports.
There will be 72 medal events.
Standing snowboard cross will makes its debut.
Many athletes are veterans as the Paralympics started as a healing program for British WWII veterans.
Team USA is comprised of 80 athletes representing 33 different states with the most athletes coming from Colorado. 32 of them are returning Paralympic competitors with a combined haul of 50 medals. 6 athletes also competed in the London Summer Paralympics. 18 of our athletes have served in or are serving in the military.
2 of our very own University of New Hampshire graduates will be competing.
3 Mainers will be competing.
Over 50 hours of TV coverage will be provided by NBC and NBCSN here in the USA and Channel 4 in the UK. TeamUSA and Paralympics will also livestream events. With thanks to BMW, BP, Citi, Liberty Mutual, P+G, and The Hartford…the sponsors.
And, of course, I will be tweeting and FaceBooking and blogging lots because I’m so excited.
Do yourself a favor and watch this PBS special about the hockey team. You’ll find out that Spina Bifida, Brittle Bone disease, train jumping, and IEDs can’t stop these “Ice Warriors.”
So what questions do you have or what topics would you like me to cover?