That’s Chaz: Were the Paralympics too segregated?

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My name is Charlotte Piper I’m 24-years-old living in Hastings.

I’m a rockabilly-loving, red lipstick-wearing, enthusiastic writer.

I have a disability called cerebral palsy making my wheelchair my biggest fashion accessory!

Here is my blog on life in motion.

HASTINGS is a small seaside town renowned for its sea food and tourist attractions, but this year however, not even Hastings can escape the hype that is the London 2012 Olympics.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the Opening ceremony itself was just outstanding, better still our country ranked in third position on the Olympic Table, our most successful ranking in over 100 years.

The athletes were simply inspiring, so much so that even a sceptic such as myself got caught up in hype of ‘Olympic Fever.’

Despite our success however, I cannot help but wonder: why such segregation between the Olympics & Paralympics? This may sound a little extreme to most, and perhaps it is, but as a disabled person I feel confused to say the least – we’ve come so far as a society that ‘includes’ disabled people within the mainstream, that choices such as this, to me feels somewhat dated. Theoretically, isn’t this a massive contradiction, putting us back to square one?

I understand that perhaps there wasn’t enough allotted space or time to include every athletes sport etc. and obviously it’s great that we even have the Paralympics in the first place but is there really a need to have two opening/closing ceremonies and two different torches?

Would it not have been a little more than feasible, financially at least, to have the opening ceremony, followed by the Olympics, (have the three week break if necessary) followed by the Paralympics and THEN the closing ceremony?

That being said I’ve spoken to many disabled people and found a great divide: some agree that the Paralympics are too segregated, whilst others prefer it.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the Paralympics and wish all athletes the very best. It’s been quite a year for Great Britain: It started with the Queens Diamond Jubilee and continues with the London 2012 Olympics/Paralympics – the three most prolific events of the year.

These events undoubtedly captured the hearts of the World and in doing so, filled our Nations heart with pride.