x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The right stuff

The Paralympics have been a major success – and can only get bigger and better.

Something quite magical has been happening in London over the past two weeks. Despite being played out in the shadow of the enormously successful 2012 Olympics, the Paralympic Games have shone more brightly than ever before.

Around the world, people are celebrating a new breed of sport stars, many of whom have overcome enormous odds to excel at their chosen disciplines. Social media have been abuzz with news and opinions about the Games and their participants, and many nations are planning big welcome-home functions for their athletes after the grand finale tonight.

In the UAE, we are still cheering not just the medal-winning performances of Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani in the air rifle event and wheelchair sprinter Mohammed Hammadi, but also the heroic efforts of everyone who participated.

Certainly, the Paralympic Games are not yet the huge television spectacular that the Olympics have become, but the word is spreading about this celebration of the human spirit. Given the continued goodwill of the various organising bodies and the participating nations, there's every reason to think the event will continue to grow as an unmissable spectacle in its own right.