How many of you watched the Opening Ceremony to the Paralympic Games? If not, why? Was it because the Games wouldn’t be as enjoyable as the Olympics? Was it because the athletes don’t have much strength since they’re disabled? Was it because it’s essentially the Olympics’ younger brother that is always in their older brother’s shadow? If so, then I’m about to show you why all these thoughts are complete balderdash; the Paralympic Games may be the Olympics’ younger brother, but they are the younger brother who quickly develops into a courageous, powerful and important person, faster than it’s older brother. The Paralympic Games should NOT be overlooked. And here’s why.
The Paralympic athletes are so superhuman they might as well be from the planet Krypton. They defy the limitations of human strength, perseverance and determination to show the world that even if they may be disabled, blind, limbless or otherwise, they can professionally play versions of Olympic sports that are ludricously more extreme and violent. Can’t imagine blind people playing football? Think wheelchair basketball is nice and calm? Consider the idea of people missing a leg swimming like super-professionals to be impossible? Well, think again. Like the C4 ad says, the Olympics is just the Warm Up; the Paralympics is the real challenge.
If you thought the task of creating the Olympics Closing Ceremony after the brilliance of Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony was tough, just imagine the amount of stress on the people behind the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. It would be almost unbearable. But in the end, it was awesome. Even if there was no special event like the Queen parachuting out of a helicopter, it was an all round spectacular ceremony centered around the girl Miranda from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Instead of all the action taking place at the beginning, they split between the beginning and the end, which I thought was a wise decision, since in the Olympic Ceremony they classified the lighting of the Olympic cauldron as a brand new thing to be enticed by. Since this was now expected, they needed to end the show with some brand new stuff.
The imagination behind the show was immense. The fact that Stephen Hawking in a sense began the entire ceremony was a genius idea, since he’s the biggest brain in the world, and has defied his disability by living far longer than expected. The show was a fascinating celebration of science and human rights, focusing on the Big Bang and Newton’s apple (I didn’t really understand the meaning behind everybody watching taking a bite out of an apple). Miranda’s journey was so eccentric and imaginative it brought to mind a girl wearing a blue dress and white apron staring up at a cat that has teeth so big it’s a miracle that its jaws are actually still intact. It was like a dream in both senses.
They had a man zipwire hundreds of feet above the ground to take the Paralympic torch to the cauldron. How cool is that?! And watching disabled artists defy their limitations to entertain us in dazzling ways was another real highlight (the dancer in particular was extraordinary). And then there was Boris. Good old Boris: the only politician who would laugh at the suggestion of him being in one of the zipwires above the stadium; the only politician who asks the interview, “How are you?”; and the only politician who is so human that they actually watch enough television to refer to C4’s Paralympic advert!
May the Paralympic Games live long and prosper! 🙂