Wednesday, 10 September 2008

In Praise Of Our Paralympians

It would not be hard to be a reasonably avid follower of current affairs and yet be completely unaware that a) the Paralympics are currently taking place in Beijing and b) at the time of writing Team GB are currently second in the medal table - ahead of the United States - with an incredible 21 gold medals.

So derisory has been the media coverage - as commented upon by Benedict at A Conservative's Blog - that, despite some extraordinary achievements, none of the athletes have been highlighted as Brits of whom we can all be proud.

Here is (as far as I can tell) our full list of Paralympic winners from the first 5 days of the Games (some of the golds are from team events, so the numbers here do not correspond to the number in the medal table):

  • Mark Bristow - Cycling (x2)
  • Jody Cundy - Cycling (x2)
  • Ellen Hunter - Cycling (x2)
  • Danny Kenny - Cycling (x3)
  • Anthony Kappes - Cycling (x2)
  • Aileen McGlynn - Cycling (x2)
  • Simon Richardson - Cycling (x2)
  • Barney Storey - Cycling (x2)
  • Sarah Storey - Cycling
  • Graham Edmunds - Swimming
  • Heather Frederiksen - Swimming
  • Sascha Kindred - Swimming (x2)
  • David Roberts - Swimming (x2)
  • Roger Welbourn - Swimming
  • Eleanor Simmonds - Swimming
  • Matt Walker - Swimming
  • Sophie Christiansen - Equestrian
  • Anne Dunham - Equestrian (x2)
  • Simon Laurens - Equestrian
  • Lee Pearson - Equestrian (x3)


Lee Griffin said...

I'm waiting for all the people who have claimed Chris Hoy needs a knighthood to say the same about several of our paralympians...what, you can't hold your breath as long as that?

Humbled Couch Potato said...

Hmm. Those of us with Freeview who don't boycott the evil BBC have been enjoying plenty of coverage of the Paralympics... :-)

Having attempted to play wheelchair backetball once and been utterly humiliated I have enormous respect for the paralympians-as I do for elite athletes generally.

Perhaps the lack of coverage of individual stars is due to the fact that some of the best known paralympic athletes have either performed below their best or have been injured-in a lot of cases, it's very young team this year-there isn't, outside of the swimming pool, a Tanni0Grey Thompson whom the general public recognises. David Weir, the obvious nearest choice, has, by his own incredible standards, not had the best of tournaments.