Saturday 29 December 2012

The UK Paralympians not honoured

Reading the list of honours it appears that every gold medal winner in the Olympics and Paralympics (who wasn't previously honoured) received some sort of reward in the New Years Honours. However, there are five gold medals from three individuals that appear to have gone onrecognised. Yeah the fastest Paralympian Jason Smyth, middle distance runner Michael McKillop and swimmer Bethany Firth have been left off the honours list.

Some people will argue that these people made a personal choice to compete for Team Ireland. But in the case of Bethany, without the Olympic sized pool being ready in Bangor, her nearest and most accessible facilities were in Dublin.

Jason Smyth was asked the question about why he chose Ireland on Channel 4's The Last Leg to which he responded:

"At the time, I had put it out there that is was Britain or Ireland. I gave them the opportunity, whoever was interested. At the time Ireland came back and were going to help and support and were able to help and Britain were just, whatever. Not really that bothered. And just that Ireland were going to look after me made the decision easy, cause I wouldn’t be politically one way or the other."

It is not always a choice that is down to personal circumstances, it is sometimes to the amount of support that the appropriate governing body is able to provide, even than can change depending on personal circumstances. For example a Northern Irish person who goes to higher education in London say is easier to tap into Team GB facilities than someone who stays at home.

Remember when the news broke that these three would get a golden post box.

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