Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meeting the Paralympians of CU

We LOVE the community in which we live. The people here rock and there are so many fun things to do. The flatness in the Midwest has its benefits too; it's great for accessibility. We love watching wheelchair racers speed through town, especially in the Illinois Marathon. We haven't missed a race yet. We still need to figure out what to do for next year now that we've moved.

Anyway, today was our chance to meet the Paralympians of our community face-to-face before they head to the Paralympics in London next week. I knew it was an opportunity that our kids would not want to miss. Boy, was I right. 

I had forgotten about it until soon before it started, but when I mentioned it to them, they were ecstatic and extremely cooperative. We had to quickly pile into the tub as we had just spent a long day outside because we also had a going away pizza party for some friends to attend right after. We made it in time! I'm brilliant! (occasionally)...

As soon as we got there, we ran into one of Bean's friends from preschool who is the son of Adam Bleakney, the wheelchair racing coach. After catching up with our old friends the boys got to try a racing chair!

So Bean has been wanting to be a wheelchair athlete for as long as I can remember, and it's hard to explain to him why he can't be, at least for now. I don't want him to hurt himself on purpose! He was so in his element here, really, he loved this chair. 

Tey did surprisingly well on it too given his size, but my camera died, thus the short video above too. I know, momfail.  The media were there so maybe there will be a video of Tey they captured that I can post later. Afterwards, we got autographs from the athletes and the boys did fab introducing themselves and asking amazing questions.

We even touched real medals (a gold, a silver, and a bronze) won in Beijing four years ago by Jessica Galli. They are HEAVY! We are privileged to have these athletes representing our country and our community in London. Last time, Champaign-Urbana Paralympians brought home half of the US medals. I wonder how many more they'll earn now that they are sending twice as many people. Our family will certainly be watching online (details here) and cheering them on in our own home as NBC will not be televising the events. I look forward to a welcome back party, because I know this team is going to make us all proud!

Update: Here is the news coverage of the event. No video of Tey.

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