I can’t believe that the Paralympics ends this weekend. It has been incredible to see the Paralympics come home to the country of their birth, which was of course at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948 when London hosted the Olympics in 1948.
I think I’ve watched just about every single ‘Raising an Olympian‘ story, and I wish P&G had included more Paralympians in their series. What isn’t included in this story is the fact that Ben was born prematurely. He is deaf and has cerebral palsy as a result. When he was a baby a consultant doctor told his mother that Ben would never be able to walk.
Well, he proved them wrong.
And thank God for his parents – they didn’t wrap him in cotton wool, but encouraged him to discover what he COULD do, instead of focusing on what he wasn’t able to do.
And he didn’t just walk, he became an athlete. A sprinter. He ran (on a broken foot no less) to get a silver medal in the Paralympics. The other day he ran to a Bronze in the 200m to add another Paralympic medal to his collection.
There was a great documentary about Ben’s journey from Beijing to London on Channel 4, which if you are in the UK I totally recommend watching (just a wee warning, there are some scenes of a knee surgery if you’re squeamish about things like that!). You can watch it online over at 4oD.