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Call them especially despicable Olympians. Justice has finally caught up with Fernando Martin Vicente, the Spanish sports official who sent a team stocked with nondisabled athletes to win the gold medal in intellectually disabled basketball at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. Team member Carlos Ribagorda copped to the scam shortly after the conclusion of the Games, saying at least 15 Spanish athletes had no physical or mental handicap, including 10 of the 12 on the basketball team. During one blowout win, Ribagorda said his coach told players, "Move down a gear, or they’ll figure out you’re not disabled." Spanish athletes were asked to return their medals, but only this week was Vicente hit with $200,000 in fines and penalties by a Madrid court. Charges were dropped against 18 others athletes and officials.
By: Dan Roan
22 August 2013
Lutalo Muhammad is feeling ill.
Lutalo Muhammad is feeling ill.
"It's so life-like, I'm getting motion sickness," the European taekwondo champion and Olympic bronze medallist tells me as he tries to complete a flight-simulator challenge usually reserved for the world's best fighter pilots.
Muhammad has been granted access to a secretive bunker at BAE Systems' high-security factory in Warton, Lancashire. Final assembly of Eurofighter Typhoons takes place here and they are also building a multi-billion pound fleet of aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force.
It may all seem a far cry from the Korean martial art in which Muhammad excels but, as part of a newly extended partnership between UK Sport and the military defence giant, Warton's aerospace engineers may just hold the key to improving Britain's taekwondo prospects after the team'sdisappointing performance at the recent World Championships in Mexico.
Read the full article at BBC UK
“You're so inspiring ... You are amazing, I'm just really inspired by what you do ... I'm just so inspired by you.”
These are words we have all heard as Paralympic athletes, and most people in wheelchairs have as well.
And for most of my life, I have hated being called “inspiring.”
Being inspirational felt like it was something that should be reserved for children, or people in hopeless situations, who fight on regardless. I haven't considered myself to be in either of these categories, at least not since I've been above the age of 15.
As such, I always took offense to being told I was “inspirational” by anyone, because it felt like this inspiration came out of pity toward me. And no one wants to be pitied, least of all Paralympic athletes.
But as I get older, I start to think more about being “inspiring” to people, and I've started to wonder, is it really such a bad thing to be inspiring?
I didn't set out to be inspiring when I began playing wheelchair rugby. My goal was to become the best I could be at it, and I've done fairly well at that.
I've faced a lot of unique challenges to get to this point, but never given up, despite how easily I could have. All Paralympic athletes have. For that matter all people with an impairment who stay active have.Read more at Paralympic
Olympics legacy: The Paralympics changed the way disability is perceived in Britain. But did they make a lasting difference?
I’m not generally a fan of sport and view the majority of advertising through a cynical gaze. All that was blown away in the face of Tom Tagholm’s Meet the Superhumans promo for Channel 4′s coming Paralympic Games coverage — which got my heart racing like I’d just finished the 100 metres. Tagholm’s use of Public Enemy’s Harder Than You Think strikes exactly the right defiant tone that what’s to come is going to be some of the most amazing physical and mental achievements humankind has ever seen.
Despite being a project commissioned by Channel 4 for such a high profile event, the production still faced its share of challenges in terms of access and the technicalities of capturing some of the spot’s most iconic shots:
We filmed at a lot of Paralympic test events which was very tricky in terms of access and how close we could get to the competitors and what sort of camera angles we could find that were new and felt special. It was a case of all the camera operators and myself keeping our eyes open at all times because there were people that we found and moments that we saw that we could have never predicted.There’s also another slow mo shot of two wheelchair rugby chairs crashing crash in to each other. We were shooting that on Phantom cameras and knew that we had to get right in to the middle of the crash, which meant some really careful choreography and great set design. It was a really tricky balance trying to get that feeling of absolute naturalism whilst at the same time trying to get right in the heart of the action.