Thursday, 30 August 2012

God is Great.

I have been training with Dedeline from the Democratic Republic of  Congo and trying to improve her pushing technique. Her country have managed to get her put into the T54 100m instead of the 1500m and I am looking forward to seeing her race. I really hope I can have the opportunity to work with her again in the future because I would love to help another African woman do well in sport.

On Sunday I once again had the great privilege of speaking in St. Paul's Cathedral at the 'Courage and Faith: The Opening Service for the London 2012 Paralympic Games'. It was a lovely service and once again made me give thanks to God for giving me such great experiences. The Haiti team were there and it was lovely to see them in such grand surroundings. I also felt proud that my son was there to support me.

I am so grateful to the officials f who have managed to get me accreditation to go anywhere on the Paralympic site, a V.I.P pass, including the Paralympic Village. It was great to go there and see old friends from many different countries who I have met during the course of my racing career.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I had the immense privilege of carrying the Paralympic Torch. I was in a team of 5 representing the wonderful charity AbleChild Africa which supports disabled children in Kenya. The team was; Jane Anthony, Simiyu Barasa, Shikuku Obosi, Fred Ouko and myself. We carried the Torch from the entrance to London Zoo and were cheered on by big crowds. I was totally overwhelmed and emotional when it came to my turn to carry the torch, and couldn't help but think how far I'd come since leaving Kenya in 2000. Once again my family and friends were there to cheer me on and support me. It was a totally awesome experience and I will cherish my own torch for ever.

After carrying the torch I came home to Harlow, had something to eat, got changed, then headed back to London to appear on ITV London evening news. The Media Centre overlooks the Paralympic site and it was a wonderful experience to watch the huge crowds heading for the main stadium to watch the opening ceremony. I could have attended in person with my pass but to be honest I was on the verge of collapse after such an emotional day that I decided to travel home to Harlow to watch it all on tv with my son.

 I did enjoy the opening ceremony but thought the music being played as the countries entered the stadium was very bad. I wondered if the people who organised it have ever heard of Staff Benda Bilili, a fantastic band of polio survivors from Congo. If they had played I guarantee the whole stadium would have rocked. Perhaps they are saving them for the closing ceremony? Also, there was no humour as there had been with Mr Bean and the Queen. Why not? If anyone enjoys a laugh it's us differently able people. However, I did enjoy watching the man with no legs flying through the air. Who ever thought the disabled could fly?

Today I have been filming with Sir Matthew Pinsent for a documentary that features another Kenyan polio survivor, Alex. It was lovely to see Alex try his hand at different sports, something he has never experienced in his life in Kenya, and also seeing him interact with the members of Harlow All Ability group. It will be interesting to watch when it is aired.Watch this space.

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