Stereotypes melt away during the Paralympics. The athlete's disability becomes secondary, and we marvel, not at their disability, but what they have achieved despite it.
But the problem is that the Paralympics exists in our consciousness as "the Games after the Olympics". It is somewhat like an afterthought. The hype around it is often in stark contrast to that of the Olympics.
Perhaps if the Paralympics were held first, wouldn't it receive greater coverage, reach a wider audience and inspire more people?
Holding the Paralympics before the Olympics would put the latter into perspective.
An Olympian struggles, overcomes adversity and redefines what is possible. Seeing a Paralympian struggle but perform with such determination and pride puts the Olympian's struggle into context, shedding more light for it to be understood. It may even inspire the Olympians.
Alicia Tan Ruimin (Miss)