Wounded Soldiers Train for Paralympics in San Diego


Book Reviewer
Very good piece.

Gets to grips with some of the issues that other articles skate over or ignore, eg;
- The misery of those wounded who do NOT come back with a positive attitude;
- The delicate issue of those whose genitals are destroyed or rendered useless; and
- The question of whether crippled young men will be able to have normal relationships - or indeed, any relationship - with girlfriends and wives.
However, it is, overall a positive - even inspiring - story. Thanks must obviously go to the Americans who have provided the facility for our men.

But as noted, many of the determined wounded who are traiing for the Paralympics will NOT make the team. So I ask: Is there is a place for those wounded soldiers who do not make the team to play a role in the opening ceremony of London 2012 - or at least the 2012 Paralympics?

I am pretty sure that some countries - and possibly the IOC - would consider this a politically divisive gesture.

OTOH, a march/roll past by the wounded would be not just a fine gesture to those soldiers serving in ISAF, but it could be very moving, and would give the audience a far greater pause for thought than do most sporting opening ceremonies. If general publics worldwide are to understand the horror of war, the sight of the wounded is one of the most likely things to engender, which means the event could be communicated as an anti-war/pro-peace message.


I agree a very moving piece.

I don't think it would be a good idea to wheel out any veterens at any sporting event with such world prestige as this. The political backlash would be unbearable.

You say that some countries and possibly the IOC would find such a display a politically divisive gesture. This has to be the understatement of the month. The gesture of any wounded ex-services being brought out would be likely to alienate a large portion of the competing countries. What would have been Britain's or other European countries view had the Soviets brought out wounded ex-Afghan vets on the opening ceremony in Moscow? I suspect uproar and the glorifying of the Soviet invasion of a sovereign nation. Would there be some irony there?

Politics should never be involves in the Olympics, although it's OK for the US to boycott Moscow (1980) and the Soviet led Los Angeles boycott in 1984, :roll: but who really suffered? Dedicated athletes with no particular political leaning, I suspect. Leave the politices to the deceitful (and crooked) selection of each Olympic/Paralympics as they go along.

Also, there's more to disabled sport than the Paralympics, the Disability Sports website highlights plenty of disciplines at all levels of competition. So aiming for the Paralympics shouldn't be on the proviso of a that-or-nothing attitude but more for aiming (or not) to compete in the pinnacle of each sport at it's highest.

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