Sporting Life

High-performance Paralympic Games push all sorts of human limits

Yip Pin Xiu (left) and Tatyana McFadden. PHOTOS: ST FILE, AFP
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There's a carbon-fibre foot used by sprinters, with a part called the Vertical Shock Pylon, which has a seriously cool name. The Cheetah. There's a racing wheelchair which Tatyana McFadden - what, you don't know her and her 17 medals? - used at the 2016 Games which was designed by a company that knows a little about swift motoring. Like BMW.

So let's be clear, these Games that start on Tuesday (Aug 24), with 4,400 athletes in 539 events in 22 sports, they're not some fun pastime. The Paralympics are a high-tech, high-performance congregation of the highly motivated, all of them tussling for medals which have circular indentations on them so that visually-impaired athletes can tell them apart. One indentation means gold. Two means silver.

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