It's no secret that I love the Olympics. Okay, as a runner I do prefer the Summer Olympics but the Winter Olympics still fill my belly with butterflies and I still tear up when they raise the American Flag and play the greatest song in the world to celebrate a US Gold. Please note that I did NOT differentiate between the "Olympics" and the "Paralympics." And let me tell you about how it grinds my gears that the Paralympics seemingly get crapped on every year.
Let me first say that I have no idea if there is any logical reason why the Paralympics happen weeks after the closing ceremony. Nor do I know if there's some sort of logistics that go into the tracks etc to change them to better suit the Paralympic athletes.
What I WILL say is that it really makes me mad that we separate the two. I really, really want the Olympics to be celebrated all together as Athletes come together to celebrate sport and spirit. It's like the Paralympics are a side note to the "real" olympics. No glitz, no glamor. And truly these athletes are incredible. I would go as far to say that I feel they are even more incredible that those who are blessed to not have had to experience some of the loss that the Paralympians have. I mean - cross country skiing - without legs. OMG. Have you seen the cross country skiers fall over after the race because they're so exhausted? Try doing it without two important factors - your LEGS. Crazy! So inspiring to watch.
And the BLIND down hill?! WHAT?! Are you kidding me? SO DOPE. I mean truly - amazing and inspiring to watch. If you haven't been watching because the TV network is doing a terrible job televising it, you can head over to their fancy website and watch different events and even a live stream!
Bottom line is - and if you've read this far I'd like to extend a warm thanks - is that the Paralympics are amazing and deserve the same respect and coverage that the "normal" olympics do. I'd love to see them all compete together. To be able to walk out in the same ceremony and walk out in the same closing ceremony. As athletes we are united - and it makes me sad to see them separated like this.