Many people watch their favorite events as the Summer Olympics unfolds. What you may not know, is that after the regular games, there are elite athletes who compete in the Paralympic games. They are every bit the creme de la creme of athletes, but they have disabilities. For example, the blind swimmers have an auditory device to keep them swimming in their lanes. The racers are in wheelchairs instead of bicycles. But unlike the recreational Special Olympics, these athletes compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals with every bit of grit and strength of any Olympian. The good news is, the US Olympic Committee has recently changed its name to include Paralympics. The USOC is now the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). This may mean great things for athletes who have overcome great challenges to compete.
There are two reasons that this excites me. My sister, Jean Driscoll, was an excellent wheelchair racer, winning 8 Boston Marathons (tied the record) and participating in several exhibition events in the regular Olympics. She has quite a few medals from the Paralympic games as well. And, my newest book (expected January 2020) is called No Second Place, and it features a Paralympic marathon wheelchair racer. I think it’s past time these wonderful athletes get their due. Don’t you?