The Olympics are over - better get ready for the other Olympics – the “other” being the Paralympic Games.
Held following each Olympic Games, the Paralympics feature some of the best athletes in the world – who happen to have various forms of physical disabilities.
But therein lies something we don’t understand.
The “other-ness” of the Paralympics.
The whole event seems to be an afterthought sometimes, and that’s a real shame.
The world throws a big sports-encrusted party for two weeks every four years, national pride on the line, the best specimens of athleticism going head-to-head. It’s great stuff.
But it gets exhausting after a while. The Canadian heart can only take so many gold medal hockey games.
So by the time the Paralympics roll around, most have tuned out.
They still have their die-hard fans, their national pride on the line, the culmination of all their hard work – it’s just a shame more people aren’t watching theseParalympiansdo their thing.
Why not just hold one Olympic Games? Extend the event into a full month and hold all the events in tandem.
It would promote inclusion, giveParalympianssome much needed exposure and probably save money in the long run.
We’re not saying it would be easy – some obvious challenges would be logistics and working out a broadcast schedule.
Continuing to hold the Paralympics as an afterthought doesn’t seem like the way to continue to build these sports.
What about holding the Paralympics before the Olympics? Or chopping it up, holding some events before and others after its big sister?
We’re open to suggestions here. And hopefully so would the International Olympic Committee – if they really stood for the ideals they were founded on, like inclusion, the human spirit, purity of competition and so on.
It would seem to make sense to at least explore the idea.
Of course we’re not Paralympians; maybe most of these athletes are quite happy to follow the Olympics and enjoy doing their own thing.
If so, more power to them. We’ll check out as many events as we can and encourage others to do the same.
The 2014 Sochi Paralympics begin March 7 and end March 16.