HELP ME TO SUPPORT THE PARALYMPIC ATHLETES

PARRABUDDY.BLOGSPOT was started to help find a way for “Adaptive / Physically Challenged / Paralympic Cyclists ” to enjoy riding their bikes on the Daily Route of the famous Pro Tour Race Routes such as the “ Giro d’Italia " and the " Tour de France " !


Through lack of support i have been unable to achieve that goal and unless people decide to assist there is little chance that my 19th season will be any more successful !


London 2012 Paralympics was amazing for ALL , not just those participating but those who followed via the Media !


Since 2009 several other Blogs have been created to cover various other subjects !

Below is a guide to their separate purposes :

In the main Parrabuddy is about “Adaptive / Physically Challenged Sport” and Health Issues.


Skippi-cyclist is about personal issues and Road Safety Issues.


SkippyAus is about matters relating to Oz and some personal memories from my life there.


Tourdafarce & Tourdafrance are about matters relating to the Pro Tour , Racers and some personal experiences during my various visits to ride the Pro Tour routes .


Skippy (blogging) is about a variety of issues on the Internet .


NOT ALL postings arrive in their correct area but I will generally try to separate my views on Doping and Sporting Fraud from Road Safety Issues .



Comments ARE WELCOMED since this shows that those reading are interested in the subject matter ! Enjoy comments made to other blogs so wonder why only " anonymous " posts here !

Over the period of these "Blogs" I have had visibility on Twitter as “Skippydetour” and on Facebook as “Skippy Mc Carthy” where Google usually advise postings on the Blogs as they occur .

When any of you visit these Blogs I hope I am able to add value to your day and provide a source of information if not inspiration . Please consider asking your friends and contacts to add their support as many of the Para Athletes are struggling to find the resources to compete in Events at regional Levels let alone National Levels .


You the reader have the possibility to help these Amazing Athletes in your own way and contacting your National Paralympic Internet Site for relevant info is a good start !

Jun 25, 2012

PARALYMPIC HEROES


So often you see “ Sporting Stars “ described as “ Heroes “ ! Wrong description for most ! This of course is a personal observation and will be contrary to those of most people !

For me to think of an Athlete as a “ Hero “ requires that they have done something Heroic , riding your bike like Lance Armstrong , or playing Basketball like Michael Jordan , is not heroic . They are certainly “ Role Models “ and their careers and subsequent outside interests are worthy of note .

 “ Heroes “ are those who have “ Served their Nation in Harm’s Way , suffered adversity and fought back to Serve their Nation once again on the Sports Field “ ! During the next two months we will see many Athletes at the Tour de France and in the London Olympics described as “ heroes “ and when the London Paralympics open at the end of August , you will see these Athletes’ efforts  pale into insignificance !

On the Paralympic Podiums will be seen exceptional personalities with a variety of stories . But it will not be necessary to win a medal to be a winner , since each competitor will have fought for many years against adversity to reach the qualification standards imposed by the “ IPC “ !  For each competitor there will be years of dedication and heart breaking stories , of their struggle to rehabilitate after injury suffered in Serving their Nation in Harm’s Way , of rehabilitating after some medical condition , even of being born with physical infirmity . Whatever was the cause of their “ Physical Disability “ , they will have struggled to overcome these difficulties .

Some will have a mindset that will not even acknowledge that they are any different from you or I . In fact “ Heiko Kroeger “ , a great German Sailor , had to be convinced to step back from thrashing Able bodied Sailors , so as to help his Nation by joining their National Paralympic Team at the Sydney Paralympic Games ! In the story of the “ WE can , you can “ , Idea Argo Project , that utilised “ French Kiss “ to attempt to win the “ Americas Cup “ he said when asked to join this team “ My first thoughts were to say NO ! Because I never felt Disabled , I never  joined disabled sport and I was having enough success in “ non disabled sailing “!

Heiko was in the mid 2000’s , a member of the crew of “ French Kiss “ , solely crewed by “ Disabled Athletes “ and also in that crew was Lars Grael  , the Brazilian Gold medal Sailor , whose life was disrupted briefly by a Drunken Motor boat driver . Losing a leg this guy rebuilt his life and went back to beating his brother , who was dominating the Brazilian Sailing scene . Amazingly Lars  even won the South American Championship along the way .

The story of “ Idea Argo “ passed me by , as I am sure it did with most of you . I had no idea that an Italian Gold Medal Paralympian that I first met at Sydney 2000 Paralympics , was also a crew member . Pierangelo Vignati reminded me at the Giro d’Italia Team Time Trial in Piacenza that we had met in Sydney . Since then he has been very kind to me , not only entertaining me in his home , but helping me in a variety of other ways . Kindnesses that I feel I did not deserve , but that is the nature of this man and many others with “ Disability “!

Physically Challenged / Para Athletes tend to be people who excel at whatever they attempt , you can almost certainly expect they will make the effort to converse with you in English . Rarely do I find “ Disabled People “ that do not attempt to carry on a conversation in English , no matter their nationality . Says a lot for how lazy some of us able bodied people can be ?

Another team that I have had the good fortune to come across are the VorArlberg Wheelchair / Handbike Team . At St Johann in Tyrol each year there is the World Masters Cycling Championship , which is an event that even “ Para Cyclists “ attend . Some years back I met several Vorarlbergers , each of whom were members of the team that raced , relay style , the “ Race across America “! Yes , day after day , they rolled their Hand Bikes through 3000+ miles to achieve the nigh impossible . Currently that race is nearing it’s conclusion and in this year’s edition are 8 members of a team from “ Wounded Warrior Project “ . What these guys have suffered before becoming involved does not bear thinking about ! Since adding the links i have discovered there are in fact two teams , hard at work , creating " Inspiration "!

Go to these link for further details :

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/race-across-america.aspx

and

http://team4mil.org/trackers/wounded-warriors-tracker/

No doubt their efforts will inspire other teams to take on this challenge during future events !

That people are rarely aware of a person’s “ Disability “ is clarified by an incident I witnessed yesterday in Kramsach ! Seeing a tandem pass at speed in the opposite direction , I did a U turn and had to really chase hard over a couple of kilometres to get up to them . On a narrow street within the 40 kph zone we were close to the speed limit but two cars were not content to wait . The first a blue saloon decided that 50+kph was their “ right “,  and off they went past me and then the tandem into a right handed bend with little visibility of oncoming traffic !

The second , a grey Peugeot people mover “ MD 721..” decided to attempt to pass also, even though there was oncoming traffic , I slapped the front rhs mudguard panelwork when he was alongside me , causing him to brake and fall back , thus allowing the oncoming vehicle to pass unimpeded . As he then passed again ,he made a gesture such as “ there is the problem “ ! You know , the right hand opened , palm up , pointing to  some object ! Was he telling his wife , that the tandem was at fault for being in his way ? Or was he trying to say that the tandem was in his way and should not be on the road ?

Tyrol is honoured to have a number of “ Paralympic Stars ( could even be described as “ Heroes“ )“ in Cycling and also Skiing ! Roland Dornauer , is a blind Athlete and as such is the “ stoker” on a tandem and was out doing his Sunday training , at this point , 40+ km from home .  He later told me , when , after many kilometres I caught up with them , that he will not be at the London Paralympics . Tandems are slower going uphill but faster downhill but this team were really motoring and I had to call “ langsamer ( slower ) “ so as to enjoy a brief chat .

When next you see a “ Wheelchair Driver “ , perhaps you too will wonder what sport they pursue and their skillset  , maybe even reflect on the cause of their Disability ?





Jun 16, 2012

AN UNGRATEFUL NATION

When your house is burning , who do you call ? Firefighters , thats who ! We expect them to risk life and limb to save our property , but occasionally they have to go the extra mile to save people who are trapped within the structure !



Some say , " That is what they signed on for " !  Of course those saying that , would be the LAST to VOLUNTEER !  Same people regard those returning home , injured or even " Physically Challenged ", after serving in the Military as having " Chosen " to take those " Risks " when signing on for that " Career Choice "!

WRONG , WRONG attitude ! These people are serving YOU and I , someone has to work in these essential services or we ALL will be just as well be back living in caves , since carrying a bucket of water to the fire , if you can find the water , would be the only solution . Certainly the old western movies showing " Bucket Chains " to fight fires still exists in the 21st century in parts of the world .

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT ?

UNINSURED " FIREFIGHTERS " this is what this is about !

Horrified as an ex bushie from Oz and the Volunteer Bushfire brigade that there are  " Professional Fire Fighters " that are UNINSURED by their Community , or is it Country !

Reading " Change.org " today i found this Petition !

http://www.change.org/petitions/give-health-care-to-firefighters-who-battle-wildfires?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=jqnLlliwJA&alert_id=jqnLlliwJA_utOqIehVOr

WHY in this 21st century World , are the people who safeguard our lives and property treated with such disregard ? Can you imagine " Police Officers " being UNINSURED by their Community ?

Time for ALL THINKING CITIZENS to act . Do as i have done , not only sign the " petition " but checkout the status of your local " Firefighters , Volunteers as well as Pros " , make sure they are FULLY COVERED  and if not enquire as to the reasons for any shortfall !

Those finding their " Guardian Angels " are NOT FULLY INSURED should act to highlight these discrepancies by campaigning with their local Politicians !

" NO " is not an Answer ,

" Will look into it " is not an answer ,

 " Will get back to you " , is not an answer !

 POSITIVE ACTION at a local level will be the first step to getting National Action !

When people GO IN HARMS WAY on OUR behalf , they and their families ,  regardless of Cost , deserve to be FULLY COMPENSATED or we ALL may find to our detriment an unacceptable alternative !

DO IT NOW !



Jun 13, 2012

DUTCH CANCER FUNDRAISER

Each year the Dutch take over L'Alpe d`Huez and the road uphill is covered with a carpet of Cyclists intent on reaching 6 ascents in their day ! This year there were two days that were waem and sunny but with temperatures reaching 43C on some corners there were many suffering from the heat .

Most peolpe would be hard pressed to make this Cycle  ride once a year but there were even " Runners " and " Registered Walkers " to be seen in action . Obviously it takes a lot of commitment , to make the journey to France , and i saw many carrying Photos of those taken by that " SCOURGE : CANCER " ! Huge numbers are part of a team , with some like me making the visit alone .

My admiration rests with those that chose to visit with their " Handbikes " ! Can you imagine the effort required to wind these " Vehicles " up this slope ? Certainly they will not challenge the time records set by the " Pro Tour Racers but it takes commitment and courage to make ONE ascent let alone multiples , as  some did with helpers escorting them . My apologies to those i spoke with , i should have written down your names , as i made the photos , but my excuse is that my hands were shaking so much from my own exertions those days .


When talking with the Media i had joked that " I was there taking the part of Cadel Evans , since he was busy in the same area of France with the Dauphine Libere ! the photo above shows us in Morzine where he told me i make an unlikely " Body Double "!


Photos follow :









Met this group below last year when most also were at this event .



Time doesn`t allow me to finish this post today , so more photos later !


Additional photos








Jun 9, 2012

M.Le President of the French Republique


For the Personal Attention of :

M.Le President of the Republique of France ,Francois Hollande

Your Excellency ,

I should  like  to  congratulate  you  on  your  Election  to  this  office . As the leader of an important Nation such as France your voice will be heard  and be heeded by other Nations in the World  Forum !

During this past week i have been in various locations in the South East of France and seen the efforts to make the roads safer for Cyclists !  Indeed since my last visit to  the 2011 Tour de France i see evidence that there is a desire on the part of the French Authorities to tackle the growing problem of Cyclist Safety . In so many parts of the world , the cyclist is viewed as  `` Road Kill `‘ , an unfortunate set of statistics , that the  Motoring Lobby  would prefer overlooked  !

The TOUR DE FRANCE is a world renowned event  that is enjoyed BY ALL each year and would be the ideal venue to remind ALL ROAD USERS that there is a place on the roads for ALL USERS !

At the Arrivee in Rumilly last night , i had occasion to speak with Chris Prudhomme , Director of  the " TDF " and the " Face and Voice of the TDF " for some years now after the retirement of Jean Marie Leblanc . I first met Chris whilst he was working with France TV and i know that he listened then to my views on Cycling  and my efforts to assist „ " " Handisport " !

My suggestion to him last night , was that "  The LeTour " publicise the Campaign started by the " Times Newspaper of london " which appears to be gaining Worldwide notice and endorsement  " Cities fit for Cycling " !

This campaign was ignored at the „ Giro dÌtalia,  since it is being promoted in Italy , by a rival Newspaper Group . Can you imagine that an errant motorist stricking a Cyclist , cares which  " newspaper " the  Cyclist chooses to read ?

Over the years i have seen too many people become victims of the " ME FIRST " generation ! In these harsh economic times so many French People and other Nationals are having to consider the Cycle as a means of transport , so as to balance their familly budget ! So many people are too frightened to get on a bike because of their fear of the traffic . Indeed during the Giro i met many who have given up Cycling because it has now  become too hazardous , and their families rely on their income .

Victims of Cycling Tragedies come from all walks of life , The Surgeon Father of Cyclist , Tyler Farrar , the Founder of the Willier Cycles  Company , Paul Crake an Australian Cycle Racer , Amy Gillett  , an Olympic Rower turned Cycle Racer , not to forget Wouter Weylandt , who died in the 2011 Giro dÌtalia  . So many day to day Commuters are struck down but do not get a mention since they are part of life`s everyday fabric .



BY YOUR INTERCESSION  ´, The Organisation oft he Tour de France , COULD bring the WORLD MEDIA’s  attention to the plight of the everyday Cyclist , and ensure that the Governments of the World follow France’s efforts to ensure ALL Cyclists arrive home SAFE ,to their family each night !
Many Politicians mean well when they voice their concerns to their Constituents BUT it takes a World Leader to motivate them to act in Concert !

As a humble cyclist , i enjoy the hospitality that the French people of ALL persuasions offer me . I am known to trample on the feet of those who think that my few efforts on behalf of the " Sportive Adaptees " are not worthy of  consideration . I know i would not succeed as a Politician but will continue to turn the pedals at the next " Le Tour " , which is my 15th Tour de France , riding each etappe in full day by day !






Jun 4, 2012

PARALYMPICS 2012 in LONDON


With the Paralympic  Games tickets all but sold out , those making late enquiries will find it almost impossible to find any tickets for their first choice events ! Bodes well for future Paralympic Events , since people are now starting to realise that “ Adaptive Athletes “ can put on as good , if not a better event than Able Bodied Athletes .

Published below is a report released recently , concerning Allocation of the Participant Slots for Athletes at these Games :

http://www.paralympic.org/news/ipc-athletics-announces-slot-allocations-london-2012




IPC Athletics Announces Slot Allocations for London 2012
Record number of National Paralympic Committees will contest 170 medal events at the Games.
David Roos of South Africa (C) crosses the finish line ahead of Yohansson Nascimento of Brazil (L) and Godwin Joseph Mbakara of Nigeria during round one of the Men's 100M -T46 Athletics event at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games © • Getty Images

Related News
Record Number of Female Athletics Events Proposed for Rio 2016
Related Documents
London 2012 Athletics Slot Allocation
“It shows the growing strength and depth of the sport that a record 101 National Paralympic Committees will have athletes competing in track and field events at London 2012. “This is further underlined by the fact that we had 1,782 athletes who had achieved the A Qualification Standard for the Games, despite us only having 1,100 slots available."
A record 101 National Paralympic Committees (NPC) will have athletes taking part in track and field events at London 2012 after IPC Athletics, the international governing body of para-athletics, today (1 June) announced its slot allocation for the Paralympic Games.
In London a total of 1,100 athletes (740 male and 360 female) will compete in 170 medal events starting on 30 August and finishing on 9 September with the marathon which finishes in front of Buckingham Palace on The Mall.
China, who topped the medals table at last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships, will have the biggest delegation after it was awarded 80 slots, the maximum number an NPC could be awarded. This is followed by USA with 54 slots, Russia 53, whilst host nation Great Britain has been granted 52 slots.
Ed Warner, Chair of the IPC Athletics Sport Technical Committee, said: “It shows the growing strength and depth of the sport that a record 101 National Paralympic Committees will have athletes competing in track and field events at London 2012.
“This is further underlined by the fact that we had 1,782 athletes who had achieved the A Qualification Standard for the Games, despite us only having 1,100 slots available.
“As a result we had to rely on the London 2012 Paralympic Games Qualification Guide, published in January 2010, to determine how many slots each country received."
The first 239 slots (146 male and 93 female) for London were allocated to National Paralympic Committees whose athletes had placed first or second in any of the individual medal events on the London 2012 Paralympic Games programme at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships.
A further 830 slots were allocated via the AQS Allocation Method which is based on results from IPC Recognized competitions which took place between 1 December 2010 and 20 May 2012.
Finally, the remaining 31 slots have been reserved for Bipartite Invitation Qualification Slots, places awarded to top athletes who have not had the chance to qualify for London 2012. So far there have been more than 200 applications for these slots ahead of the 4 June deadline.
Of the 170 track medal events in London, there are 103 for male athletes and 67 for females.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be the biggest ever with a record 4,200 athletes from 165 countries competing in 20 sports.
For a full breakdown of the IPC Athletics Slot Allocation for London 2012, please click on the link to the left hand side.