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 ?





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