Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Believe it or not, this Wheelchair race ended in a dead tie between China and the US. For some reason, they decided to give the gold to China. They didn't say why.

I hadn't really given much thought to attending the Paralympics. But then, I don't give much thought to attending any athletic event. Tickets are not hard to come by. You don't need to bum tickets for the Paralympics. Tickets for the main Olympics were pricey, and there were many scalpers buying them up to make money. But Paralympics tickets can be obtained quite easily by any sports-minded person with a little initiative. Seriously lacking in such initiative, I had told Andy in an off-handed way, to let me know if he came up with anything. Yesterday he texted me that he had a ticket to the athletic events at the Bird's Nest.

Because the tickets are being distributed rather loosely, they are all "General Admission," so the earlier you get there the better. By the time we walked in, the place was pretty much full, except for the area on one side that was in the sun (seating areas are covered, but the sun comes in at an angle). Andy got a brainstorm to go to that area and pick a good seat toward the bottom side of it. It was really easy to get a good seat, and 15 minutes later, we were in the shade.

This is definitely the most impressive stadium I have ever been in. It's about the size of the Cotton Bowl, I guess. But I was in the Cotton Bowl once when it rained cats and dogs, and I got very wet. Every seat in this stadium is covered, but the field is not.

I have never been to an event like this, so I was struck by the extent of the handicaps, especially the runners. They really were blind. Each runner was allowed to have a guide running with him. This presented some questions I don't know the answer to. What if the guide can't keep up with the runner? Don't know how this works. But you can imagine the Keller--Sullivan relationship that must exist between some of these teams. During one of the medals ceremonies, a Canadian runner took off his medal and put it on his guide.

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