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    Reflection: Paralympics

    By Christine Pitts

    Paralympics GB's David Weir competes in the men's T54 1500m race a test event at Olympic StadiumHow exciting the Paralympics were! They were especially exciting for me because two of the athletes were from the town where I live, New Milton in Hampshire – Mikey Jones, aged 22, and Alice Tai, aged 17, both are swimmers. Mikey has cerebral palsy and as a youngster he used to come to the First Opportunities Group where I worked.

    This group is for children aged from birth to 4 years who have special needs. In 2012 he had three very big operations, and then seven weeks before the Paralympics his father sadly died. Mikey was very close to his father and took two locks of his hair with him to Rio as an encouragement. Alice goes to a school near our church which is a school the church works very closely with by taking assemblies and giving encouragement to the children and teachers. Alice was born with two club feet and deformed legs and between the ages of twenty weeks and twelve years she had fourteen operations to fuse her feet and ankles together so she has no movement in them at all. Between them Mikey and Alice won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal! Our town is so proud of them that the Mayor is giving them a banquet and two gold seats will be erected in the park!

    I think I heard that Mikey and Alice were actually afraid of the water when they were young but were encouraged to look for different things to try and were able to overcome their fear. All the athletes who took part in the Paralympics have had to overcome enormous obstacles and challenges but in accepting that there are certain things they are unable to do, they have found alternative things that they can do and have worked hard at developing and perfecting those things, the results have been amazing and an inspiration and encouragement for us all to keep persevering when life is difficult and we are struggling to keep going. Personally when I became deaf my biggest frustration was no longer being able to join in singing and playing the piano, but I discovered that the words of hymns have far more meaning to me than when I was trying to concentrate on both the music and the words. I also decided to try something new and have found much fun and joy in running with the local running club and will sometimes wear a label on my back saying ‘deaf runner’ which often brings people to me for a chat which is lovely. So when you are struggling take inspiration from the Paralympians, try doing things in a different way, keep persevering and don’t give up.

    View previous Reflection articles

    Hearing Only With the Ears?
    Dare to be Different

    The Lost Coin

    Running

    All the World’s a Stage?

    To Know and Be Known
    Hands

    A New Year’s Revelation
    A New Year’s Reflection

    A Christmas Reflection
    Choices, Choices
    Intelligent Machines
    Life After Death
    Life’s Challenges Pt. 2
    The Shattered Glass
    Not Quite the Damascus Road
    A Home for the Lord
    The Chair

    Happiness
    The New Age of Martyrs

    A God of Second Chances
    Acceptance & Rejection
    New Lights
    New Things
    More Thoughts on Christmas
    Thoughts on Christmas

    The Vastness of Creation

    Unexpected Treasure

    Life’s Challenges
    Home is where the Heart is
    Beyond Fear to Exhiliarating Trust
    Friends
    Sticks and Stones
    Beauty in the Chaos
    God and Creation
    Perfect Timing
    The Lord is near
    Having fun and taking new steps with our friends
    A friend who stands where we stand, and weeps with us
    Remain in Me

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