Monday, 30 August 2010

Inside Incredible Athletes

Last night Channel 4 showed a really great programme called Inside Incredible Athletes. As regular readers will know I've sometimes mentioned the 'differently enabled' athletes* I've come across in the fields of athletics and bowling.

The show, which if you missed it is on 4OD here, is well worth a viewing and does show how differently enabled many of these athletes actually are. Highlighted brilliantly by England blind football captain David Clarke taking part in a five-a-side game between his current and former work places. Or dressage rider Lee Pearson who can control his horse without his hands due to his muscle difficulties. Or the fact that single amputees running with a blade compensate for the balance and weight distribution issues over time to make it look effortless when it is not.

It shows the athletes in all their attributes, jealousy of Lee's boyfriends getting a free car wash, the passion and aggression from the wheelchair Rugby guys, the wit again rugby player Steve Brown saying:

"Injuries can happen in any sport, or live. Believe us we broke our necks."

The passion and commitment for their chosen field in evident 2 years out from the London 2012 Paralympics. The event that Channel 4 will be covering in more detail and hours than ever before. This show not only brings the athletes to live a normal people with normal attitudes to getting on with things, it also explains some of the difficulties they have had to overcome to be at the top of their game. To be enabled in that different way. Some of them can compete alongside anyone, some need a slight equipment change, but all are able to compete and survive in the world on their own terms and that is what is so joyous to see.

* This was a phrase used by one of them to me saying, "I'm not a disabled athlete, I'm differently enabled."

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