Today’s news is all about the end of the Games. Yes, the Olympic Games closing ceremonies were last night. But the show’s not over…yet. In just a couple of weeks, another elite, international sporting contest will take center stage in Beijing: The Paralympics.
The Paralympics follows about two weeks after the Olympics and takes place in the same venues as the Olympic athletes recently occupied. Highly competitive, the Paralympic Games is for elite athletes with physical disabilities.
Unfortunately, the Paralympics is an under-reported event, especially in the U.S. media. While you won’t have access to 24/7 TV coverage of the US Paralympic Team, do keep an eye out for local newspaper coverage and broadcast stories.
A week from tomorrow, my husband and I will be traveling to Beijing to work the games, he as a photographer, me as a press officer for Paralympic swimming.
Even some of my closest friends (who know the work I do with US Paralympics) will tell people I’m going to the “Special Olympics.” No, the Paralympics is very different: the Special Olympics are for people with intellectual disabilities with a focus on medals for all, while the Paralympics is for elite athletes with the same Gold-Silver-Bronze medal hierarchy as the Olympics. There is a place for both, but I am always trying to clarify the difference in order to introduce more people to the stories, people and competition that make the Paralympics one of the best sporting feats out there (no offense Red Sox fans!)
As they say: “Amazing Awaits.” Check out the Paralympic video to see for yourself!