Are we all as thick as she (the Baroness in the wheelchair) thinks we are?
‘Lady’ Grey-Thompson reckons that ‘richer’ or ‘wealthier’ or ‘more better-off’ countries can stick their hands into their thick wallets; and cough up for countries who just don’t have that sort of cash, to get their poor, worried (and possibly even traumatised) paralympic athletes to travel to the Games in Rio. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals, is calling on wealthier countries to help ensure athletes from poorer nations can attend after promised grants have not been paid to them. The same woman who achieved this status of a Peer of the Realm, this ability to influence the very Law by which we are governed; solely and simply because she pushed a sawn-off supermarket trolley faster around a circuit than the other competitors.
Ignore the fact that less than 12% of the tickets have been sold for the Rio events. Ignore the fact that the Latin Americans don’t seem to be that bothered about the bloody Paralympic Games in the first place. Ignore the slightly-unwelcome fact that not many people other than the alleged athletes are really interested in this farrago of non-competition. Ignore the even more unwelcome truth that the vast majority of events are rigged to appear as if all participants are ‘equal’. Not having observed any of these so-called athletic events for those less-than-able-bodied does not disqualify one such as myself from commenting; after all; we all have free will, and somewhat free speech.
The whole idea of the Games is based upon a single statement that all athletes, able-bodied or not, should be able to participate. Well, here’s at least one which does not agree. The National Lottery has funded both types of sports with a view towards competing in both types of Games. But has anyone been asked if they, individually, agree with such largesse being handed out on the basis of ‘It’s great to watch him/her jerk/waddle/lurch/twitch as he/she makes their way towards the finishing line’? It’s wonderful to see what he/she can do when he/she tries!’ Personally, I believe that the very idea of paying to watch a bunch of disabled people who cannot compete in any meaningful way against other able-bodied athletes, competing against those who are disabled themselves is nothing else than voyeurism of the worst, twisted kind.
If the good Lady wishes to see all the ‘athletes’ who face not being able to travel to ‘their’ Games achieve their goals, let her place her hands into her own presumably deep pockets, and see how many people join her in this particular act of generosity. To watch relays of men or women pushing sawn-off Sainsbury’s supermarket trolleys around a track might appeal to some, and to help the participants arrive at a distant venue may stir more, but Lottery funds, or even Taxpayers’ cash, should not be used to further the ambitions of a very select group of individuals.