Whilst doing my R.E. homework, I came across a phrase from a certain Immanuel Kant which stated that ‘ought implies can’. If you strip this bare, it’s basically saying that if something is logically possible, then it’s achievable. But on numerous occasions in the media and on television have I seen the word ‘can’t’ being thrown around – well never before has Kant’s phrase been so appropriate as it has been over the past eleven days!
London Paralympics 2012 has quite possibly been the most liberating event that I have watched in my lifetime. The definition of the word ‘disability’ is ‘a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses or abilities’. Now to me, that word ‘limit’ presents a reduction in capabilities – watching all of these spectacular events in motion, I wouldn’t even dream of associating that word with the Paralympics! Britain put on a great show to kick things off in motion with the opening ceremony, and the timespan that followed to tonight’s closing ceremony has given a great gift to us all – role models.
Just one example of a British team of ‘SuperHumans’ that inspired me was David Weir. Born with a spinal cord transaction, this man has NEVER had the use of his legs. Limited? Yes. But limitless? Absolutely yes! In just a week, this powerhouse won four gold medals, and made history. It’s just people like him who have now inspired a generation.
I remember back when it was announced that Britain was hosting the games. The atmosphere felt quite cynical, with that phrase ‘It’s a waste of money!’ being tossed about. But with 1.1 million tweets about the Paralympics, an absolute sellout in ticket numbers, and placing third in the medal tables? It really doesn’t make me care if we ‘reel in the cash’ or not, because The Festival of the Flames has left a lasting legacy behind -whoever you are, or whatever life has made of you? You can make something of yourself. A recession we may be in – but the games were reborn this year, so let’s leave the fiscal worries to the professionals, and just enjoy being British!