Despite the problems of Rio 2016, including the Olympic diving pool almost turning into Shreks swamp, the Olympics this year were fantastic to watch. After incredible performance from Team GB in the Olympics, coming second above China, a country 20x bigger than us, with 67 medals (27 being gold!) Great Britain can now be seen a "sporting superpower ".However, with the Paralympics coming up in the next few weeks, the question is; can the Paralympians keep this going? UK Sporthave suggested from the results in London 2012 that there is a possibility of 113-165 medals available for our GB Paralympians; a high enough estimation allowing GB to reach another record breaking amount of medals. In mass, we are only a small country – a small country with masses of determination.
Yet, although Great Britain may be waiting with anticipation for the results of our Paralympians, it seems as though other countries, especially Rio itself are not so eager. Ticket sales have been drastically low for the Paralympic games and only 12% of tickets have been sold. Is this because of their declining economy? Famous Paralympian Tanni Greg-Thompson thinks the underselling of these tickets are because the Paralympics are undervalued, which is also perhaps a reason for their underfunding this year. In my own personal experience, having gone both to the Olympics and the Paralympics in London, where I saw the women's hockey (who won Gold this year! Go Girls!) and the Paralympic athletics when David Weir claimed gold, I can say that both the Olympics and Paralympics produced the same excitement, love and patriotism from the crowds. This being said, its hard to say whether others feel the same way I do. Never the less, I know our country will support our Paralympians, just like we did our Olympians. Go Team GB!
The same can't be said for Russia. As of Tuesday 23rd August,Russia were officially disqualified and banned from competing in the Paralympics in Rio because of doping. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) cut down hard on this scandal, refusing the countries appeal to compete in the games. Some think this may have been to ruthless by the IPC as athletes who were in fact competing genuinely, without using drugs, are now unable to compete because of cheaters.Imagine if you were an athlete who had trained all year or even all your life, leading up this big moment, and it was taken from you! I hope this will promote change in how athletes, trainers and countries over all train before the games – morals not just medals as Sir Phillip Craven said.What do you think? Give us your opinions and start a discussion!
I guess only time will tell as to whether we can replicate our successes from the Olympics into the Paralympics. All I know is that we have every reason to believe we can and I wish the best of luck to all who are involved in making this happen.
Ellie is a Marketing Executive at KYMIRA with a great interest in health and sport. She is a student at Reading University going into her second year and studies Consumer Behaviour and Marketing with a year in industrial training in her third year. She plays hockey regularly for the University's Mixed Hockey club and hopes to join Sonning Hockey Club in September.