us paralympics + hope

30 Dec

today i went to my fitness class at the gym early so i could get some running in beforehand, but that didn’t happen b/c i got so caught up in watching the paraolympics swim meet. i saw people, many of whom use wheelchairs, swim the length of the big pool and back. afterwards some needed to be helped out of the pool and back into a wheelchair. othertimes, they hopped around on their own.

but these men and women are my heroes. it takes a lot of determination to play sports despite a disability, especially a loss of a limb. and for them to do a whole body sport like swimming, was amazing. granted i felt like the meet was rigged, although i knew it wasn’t, when people with all their limbs won their round. but jonathan heider was the best. he finished more than 2 minutes after the first place guy, double the time, even, and the max time had already run out. and by the time he finished, many of the other swimmers were already out of the pool and disappeared. but he had no legs past his thighs and no arms past his biceps. when he started the race he sat on top of the starting block and pushed off into the water. and he swam butterfly down the pool and back and it was the highlight of my day.

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