Wednesday 31 August 2011

A Year To Go.......

Well,it's now just under a year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and I'm very excited about it. It is such a joyous thing to see disabled athletes from all over the globe coming together to compete in sport, showing the world the positive face of disability and providing inspiration to millions of others. Each individual athlete will have travelled their own individual road to London 2012, some will have had great backing and financial support, others will have battled through on their own with little or no support, but they will all share the same experience at the end of that road, with the lucky few winning medals. Like I say, I am REALLY looking forward to it.
I've been watching the debate around Oscar Pistorius with great interest because it throws up many questions. For example, now he has competed with the so called 'able bodied' athletes should he be banned from competing in disabled sport? If he is allowed to compete in both areas should the able bodied also be allowed to compete in disabled sport? What do people reading this post think? It would be good to get some feedback.
The World Championships in Daegu have been really exciting to watch and I feel very proud that the country of my birth, Kenya, is currently second to the USA in the medals table! I think that's a fantastic achievement. Mind you, I am also enjoying watching the British athletes competing and enjoyed watching Jessica Ennis win her Silver. I hate the way the media say she 'lost' the gold. She did not, she WON the Silver. I was also impressed with Louise Hazel's performance and look forward to following her next year. Good luck to all the athletes as the Championships wind down to the final few days. Each and every one of them has WORKED and SWEATED to be where they are, and they should be applauded for that, not belittled like the media loves to do to certain individuals.

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Sunday 28 August 2011

Relight My Fire!

I am just back from a short time off from training to recharge my batteries after a tough season. It was great having some free time to relax with my son, Tim, and watch movies and go places without having to worry about the hustle and bustle of my training regime. It also gave me the opportunity to reflect on what has been a very good season, and I now have a clear vision about what I need to do to achieve my ambitions next year. London 2012 is just over the horizon and I really want to be part of it. It's all down to me and I intend grasping my opportunities with both hands. So, yesterday I was back in the gym training on rollers and sweating buckets. 'No pain no gain' as the saying goes, and the pain I'm in today should mean I'll gain a lot! I love it though, and wouldn't want it to be any different.
As an athlete myself I am avidly following the World Championships in Daegu and my heart really goes out to Christine Ohuruogu, Dwayne Chambers, and Usain Bolt, all disqualified from racing for false starts. All the hard work and effort they've put in to be selected all gone in a micro second. I feel it is too harsh and would like to see a return to the old rule where everyone gets a second chance. Can you imagine the furore if it happens next year at London 2012? Let's hope those that make the decisions rethink this one.
On an even more serious note, the horrific events unfolding in the Horn of Africa really upset me, all those people dying of starvation and lack of water, things we in the so called Developed world take for granted. Here in Harlow we even have special bins we put wasted food into to be recycled! So what kind of world are we living in where people are dying for a lack of food? Here in the UK they talk about the 'crisis with obesity' whilst in Africa people die as thin as stick insects! Surely there is more than enough food in the world to feed everyone? I know that the problem of drought is more difficult to solve but surely we can invest in the science needed to make things better. People in Africa don't want handouts, they want to be self sufficient and stand on their own two feet. I hope and pray a solution can be found soon to end the suffering of the starving masses.

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Tuesday 16 August 2011

Over The Moon!

Just got back from Switzerland and the season is winding down towards winter training. It was good to meet friends from the wheelie world once more. The more I go to Switzerland the more I fall in love with it, one of these days when those 6 numbers come up!.......
Nottwil is the place to be as a racer. It has perfect cycle tracks with no broken glass and its great scenery as we push around the lake. Great accomodation. I remember it was 5 years ago that I met the Brazilian soccer team here and I recall the crowd was going wild and screaming. I was chatting to one of the players and the crowd was really cheering. Later I asked why were the crowd making so much fuss. I was surprised when I was told I was chatting to the most famous player in the world, Ronaldhino. To be honest I didn't have a clue who he was because I never used to follow football though I do now.
It was a one day international competition on a brand new track and it was good to be there to test it. After all the sweat and hard work I've put in the reward of a Personal Best in the 200m was a sign that there is more in the tank to come. I also did a very good time in the 100m but I know I have to put in some really hard work this coming winter on improving in all areas but especially my 400m and 800m, the two events I still need to master.
I am a very emotional person but when I do well I sometimes don't have the right way of expressing it and I quickly move on to the next chapter.
My passion, my love, runs slow but deep like a dark, dark river!

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Thursday 11 August 2011

Swiss Roll.

Phew!! A hectic few weeks now culminates in my final competition of the season here in Switzerland. I was at Crystal Palace last weekend but wasn't that pleased with my performance on a slow track. However, as always it was good to meet up with other racers.
I've been training hard and had some very good track sessions and some tiring workouts on the road. I'm feeling really positive about myself and feel in good shape to do well this weekend.
The journey here was very tiring, especially having to get up at 5am to get to Heathrow, but I'm now comfortable in my hotel room after having a nice dinner. I love coming to Switzerland because they really take their wheelchair racing seriously here, and they can't do enough to help the athletes who travel here. They really make us feel welcome.
Whilst I was at Heathrow a lady came up to me and told me I was her hero. She has had breast cancer and she said she'd seen the programme I did for BBC, 'My Story', and said how much it had inspired her. Imagine! I told her she was the real hero, my hero, for battling a dreadful disease and beating it. She really inspired me!
So, I'm going to train hard tomorrow and then go out on Saturday and really do my best to get some good times. Then it's back to dear old England to spend the winter training hard to prepare myself fully to try and earn a place at London 2012.

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