Archive for the ‘paralympics’ Category
So did you hear the one about the woman in the wheelchair in the crowd at the paralympics. Its not a joke. She was told she could not sit with her family. Apparently the people in charge are planning the event did not plan for disabled people sitting with walkies? Click here to read the entire story. I don’t even want to get into it. It just defies logic, and I don’t do well with that.
I blogged about Oscar Pistorius’ bid to enter the Olympics (not the Paralympics) in 2008. If you don’t know who I am talking about he is a runner who has both lower legs amputated but has been fitted with a pair of “blades” which have been found to mimic a set of human feet in such a way that they do not give him an unfair advantage. This was not the case in 2008 if I remember correctly, but anyway, he was in for 2012. I did not even know about it until the Olympics already started this year. Anyway, I have not been able to muster up the level of interest it takes for me to blog about a subject even though it is admittedly a big turn of events. Now that the Olympics are almost over, I can say, well done, Oscar. It is progress. It muddies the waters between the land of the able and the land of the horrible, mangled creatures they call “disabled.”. So I am happy about that. I just don’t care too much. Come to think of it, I don’t really care that the Paralympics are starting, and I think I mentioned why, in 2008. There are categories that allow pretty much anyone to get into the Paralympics as long as you have a chipped tooth or got your foot run over by a bicycle when you were six or something. Seriously the categories are quite inclusive. Look it up. The Paralympics, it seems, are less specialized than the Olympics. So it is quite exclusive company Pistorius was in when he made it into the Olympics this year.
Hmm..maybe it really was a bigger deal than I thought. See that is what blogging does for me. It allows me to take an issue, and talk it out until I’ve come full circle, back where, I started, but with a new outlook.
Now that I have stated my demand, clearly and concisely, I’d like to note that once again in 2012 the Paralympics follows close on the heels of the Olympics. Once again it has been relegated to a Youtube channel, various other online live feeds, etc, while the Olympics (the Walkie version) is again a world-wide network TV 24-hour a day, weeks-long extravaganza. It’s probably on TV right now. Let me go check………….Yup. It is. Water polo.
Eighteen percent of the U.S. population has some form of disability. That statistic throughout the world is comparable. Everybody knows someone who has some kind of disability that would be represented by athletes in the Paralympic Games. Why is this not on NBC? Do we need a specific TV network just for disability-oriented programming much like African-Americans did with the BET network?
Come on, NBC, it’s 18% of the population! Think of the ratings! Even if just out of curiosity, huge numbers of people would be tuning in to see this. Think of the new ad revenue you would generate from a wide variety of sponsors.
And lastly, you would be providing a service. Network exposure for Paralympic athletes would show the world at large a new side to disability. For one thing, it would demonstrate how many disabilities are not visible, yet very real for the person living with that disability. And it would help able-bodied people become more knowledgeable about a wide array of different types of disabilities. This can only be a win-win situation. The Olympics this year got Paul McCartney to play the opening ceremony. I say we get John Mellencamp to play the 2016 Paralympics on NBC. He’s got spina bifida. See, a disability that is not visible. You’re learning something already.
If you agree, please pass this on.
I wouldn’t go scuba diving myself, but I think that knowing the opportunity exists to have the type of experience that Diveheart makes possible is a great thing. It makes me think back to when I was given the opportunity to go downhill skiing in Lake Tahoe. It was the greatest feeling of liberation I’d ever felt in my physical body. And I wish that feeling will manifest in many disabled people through Diveheart. Check it out. I saw a bit about them on TV this morning and I thought about all of you.
The 2012 Paralympic Swimming trials are all set to go from June 14-16 at the Bismarck State College Aquatic & Wellness Center in Bismarck, ND. If you are in the area, have 3-6 hours to give and would like to play a part in making this event a success, volunteers are still needed. If you are age 8 and up, please go to www.bisparks.org to find out how you can help. Opportunities in time-keeping, hospitality, and athlete check-in are open.
The 2012 Paralympic Games will be held in London, England from August 29 to September 9. More than 4,000 athletes from 165 countries are scheduled to compete in 19 different areas of athletic prowess.
Just dropping by to add a link to the story of Shawn Beam, who recently, as my title strongly suggests, became the only known person in a wheelchair to ever bowl a perfect game. My first reaction was “So what? he’s got arms, hasn’t he?” But then the part of me that is a history major kicked in and realized that this was a “first” and as such, deserved the press coverage.
Check it out:
If you are a fan of adaptive sports, you can voice your desire to see the Wheelchair Basketball National Championships on television by going to the facebook page below and click the LIKE button. Let ‘em know there is a market and the networks would do themselves a favor by looking into wheelchair sports and consider televising them. Here’s the link:
The Life-Altering Reason That “Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe” is now “Leaving Footprintz Across the Universe”
Those of you who have followed this blog throughout the last year or so may have noticed a marked drop in output over the last few months.
You may also have noticed that I changed the name of this website from “Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe” to “Leaving Footprintz Across the Universe.” There is a reason for both changes and they are connected. The reason is I have been busy. A lot of bloggers say that when they cut production, but I have been busy doing things that I have never, ever done before! Let me start at the beginning.
I started this blog as a man with spina bifida and I wanted to tell the world a little about my life and what it is like with a disability. Well, back on December 15 I recieved a call from a doctor who was present at the hospital on the day I was born. And he told me something that made me hysterically angry and hysterically blissful at the same time. He is no longer affiliated with the hospital where I was born, so he was able to tell me this:
He told me that I was in fact born a healthy baby, but for reasons he could not explain my parents were told by the doctor that delivered me that I had spina bifida. My parents took me home with the news that I had special needs and would never walk. The power of those spoken words apparently held so much sway that from the very beginning, that even though I was perfectly healthy, I never did use my legs, and I never did learn to walk. Crap, I was even allergic to things that people with spina bifida are supposed to be allergic to. Talc in Latex, chocolate, and bananas.
As time went on, and as doctor after doctor looked at my incorrect charts, I had a lot of unnecessary surgeries. This added new and just-as-erroneous diagnoses and prognoses into the mix, and the untruth became stronger and stronger until there came a time in my adulthood that I thought that I was even more disabled than that. I began thinking that I was “slow” and the very thought, and the act of saying it out loud gave me reason to expect less of myself.
I gave that part of it up a long time ago, but on December 15 of last year, when that doctor told me that I was not in fact born with spina bifida, that I was not in fact paralyzed from the waist down, that I was not physically paralyzed at all, things began to change. I began to feel things in my lower extremeties, to a point where I began to get out of my wheelchair. I recently got a new wheelchair, but I have been using it less and less. I still use it at work, and I use it to go out and get the mail, but because I have used it less I am not very good at it. In fact one day I rolled it over off a step and crashed my chair scratching the wheel badly.
I use it while living my civic life because I haven’t wanted anyone knowing that anything had changed. But I have been getting out a lot, anonymously, out of town, just doing things I have never gotten to do before. It’s okay. But the only person I have told is my wife. Not even my parents, brother or sister know yet. For that I am sorry. But I worried about how I’d be treated having been “healed”. So I just went on living and observing life as a disabled man, but as a non-disabled man. But I think I am ready to move on and let the world know the power of thought and how it has affected my life.
That’s why it’s now “Footprintz” instead of “Treadmarkz” and Happy April Fools Day, by the way.
But seriously. Just think about what I said. Think about all the things we tell ourselves and believe. Just imagine.
Wow. I watched the broadcast with great interest, and was impressed with the poise and confidence with which the President discussed the economic situation and how he appears to be ready to clean up all of the immoral practices of corporate America that have been swept under the rug for too long.
I didn’t even notice this comment.
Everything else he was saying was more important. I am an American first and a disabled person…well, like fifth or sixth, but you get the idea.
But I will say that no matter how hard he works to rectify our economy and get this ship on the right course, a “joke” like that should not be considered “acceptable” for the President of the United States to make.
I write a lot on this blog about how disabled people can take a joke, and we are no more untouchable than anyone else. But the Special Olympics is for participants that are often very physically able people, and I would imagine a lot of the participants could bowl the Flag Pin right off of President Obama’s lapel!
Mr. President, I respect you for your initiative and for your passion, but please be careful. Don’t be a Biden. You’re much more intelligent than that one small comment would give you credit for.
Of course you’ve got to be a great athlete too, but…
Does anybody else find it disturbing that to qualify for the Paralympics, all you need is a pair of contact lenses? Yes that’s right, apparently anyone whose vision is a little blurry can be a Paralympic athlete.
Granted, I have spent a good amount of time on this blog and on others reminding people that the definition of “disabled” can be extremely broad, even reminding my readers that, in fact, one could argue that those who wear glasses could be considered disabled. But isn’t the Paralympics supposed to be for athletes who cannot partake in the Olympics with fully functional walking athletes because of their disabilities? That was my understanding.
I was watching the Paralympic Judo and it seemed to me that the athletes who were squaring off in the competition had no visible disability. I thought “Did they add Tourette’s Syndrome to the Paralympics?” Because the athletes in the Judo competition definitely had no visible disability, and they had no ailment or disorder holding them back in any way, that is for sure. And this may sound narrow-minded as Hell, but if it is not a visible disability – if it does not visibly hold one back physically – then it has very little to do with physical competition. So I wanted to know what the guidelines were in the Paralympics. So I looked it up.
There are certainly many genuinely disabled people in the Paralympics, and the categories make a lot of sense, and they make it fair so as not to have a no-armed, one legged blind man with cerebral palsy fencing against a guy who is near-sighted. But contact lenses? Seriously?