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2012 Paralympics: Lessons to learn

18 September 2012, 10:25

It is no longer news that our Paralympians made the country proud by breaking former World and Olympics record whilst setting new ones, had our Country’s flag hoisted six times during the competition and to crown it all up, came home with thirteen medals {Six Gold, Five Silver and two Bronze medals respectively}.

I don’t know about you but for me, it reminds me vividly about the adage that says ‘There is ability in disability’ If the 2012 Olympians were given little attention, the Paralympians were completely ignored, if the Olympians were hardly funded, they enjoyed practically no funding, if the Olympians enjoyed media hype, the Paralympians didn’t have such luxury yet they shone like the million starts and achieved what the Olympians could not.

Take a look at a certain Yakubu Adesokan who won the country’s first gold medal with a world record; The 33 year old broke the world record in the men’s 48 category by lifting 178kg which is over three times his body weight. I mean that beats my imagination!

I can say that the dismal outing at the Olympics must have discouraged those who would have made an attempt to watch the Paralympics but alas the stone which the builders rejected ended up being the chief corner stone. Taking a very critical look at both the Olympics and Paralympics: After the former, the Minister of Sports could only come on board to tender explanations as to why the team had a dismal outing and I for one would have thought this excuses were meant to serve as a wakeup call for us to expect a much more disastrous outing at the Paralympics considering the fact that the ones who we would have referred to as being ‘able’ could not make us proud. Gladly, I was proven wrong.

There are a number of lessons to learn in all of this because the Paralympianshad a choice of failing and blaming the government but by sheer determinations chose to do us proud against all odds and in turn have their name written in gold.  I strongly believe that they had a beautiful outing because they were faced with two options: To Succeed and to Succeed. They realised that failing gave them no alternative as they practically had nothing to fall back on. Aside that, they could easily pass as the rejected ones who have been tagged as disabled and in some cases liabilities.

These same Paralympians had to manage whatever crumbs of the Federal Government allocation that was left after taking care of the 2012 Olympians who were treated as ‘priority’. But guess what? It was the class of people we will rather call physically challenged or commonly referred to in some quarters as disabled who ensured we made a statement by having our name on the medals table whilst ensuring the green and white flag got hoisted six times during the 2012 Paralympics. What an Irony!

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