Thursday, 30 August 2007

With inclusion at its heart, London will transform lives - Times Online

This is a great article by the great athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson. I do agree with her view completely.

With inclusion at its heart, London will transform lives - Times Online: "With inclusion at its heart, London will transform lives With five years to go, our correspondent says the capital will provide a platform for disabled athletes to effect real social change Tanni Grey-Thompson So the Games are coming home. Today, exactly five years before our Paralympic Games begin, the London 2012 road show is completing its summer UK tour at Stoke Mandeville, near Aylesbury. It was here, in 1948, that a wheelchair competition involving injured Second World War veterans gave birth to the modern Paralympic movement. Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the pioneering neurosurgeon, who came up with the idea of sport as an aid to rehabilitation, was inspired as much by budget constraints as he was by social altruism. The soldiers were proving a drain on his hospital’s stretched post-war resources. A similar sense of pragmatism lay behind my advice to the Games Select Committee, shortly after the bid win. I told them that I couldn’t comment on the proposed Paralympic performance model; it would depend how many of our forces were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The collective eyebrow-raising was priceless, but false sensitivity is a waste of time when you’re faced with a win-win situation."

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