Gustie Pride: Paralympics

Posted on January 10th, 2013 by

DSC00200This morning we met Anna Eames, a senior here at Gustavus. She swims on the Gustavus team, and also the U.S. National Team. In the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, she won a gold medal in the 100m butterfly, as well as bronze medal. She also competed in the 2012 Paralympics in London and won a silver medal. Anna explained that the Paralympics stand for parallel to the Olympics, and are for people with physical orvisual disabilities. The Paralympics began in 1960, and were originally for war veterans. She explained how the athletes are put into different classifications based on the severity of their disability. Anna said she is in the S10 division, which is the division for the least disabled athletes. The Paralympics are held 2 weeks after the Olympics and have their own opening and closing ceremonies, which are different than the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, but still a huge production.

It was interesting to hear her experience with getting ready to race in the Paralympics. She talked about having to sit in a plain white room with all the competition for about 20 minutes before racing. We enjoyed the way she described her experience because it gave us a really good feel for what it’s like to be anathlete at that level. Her pictures and stories allowed us to see some behind the scenes things.

Throughout the world, the Paralympics are a big deal and often televised. She said events sell out and it’s really difficult to get tickets. But here in the U.S. the Paralympics are not as well known. One of her teammates has more gold medals than Michael Phelps, but because of the lack of media surrounding the Paralympics, very few people know who she is. A really interesting point she made in regards to the media is how people look hard for great comeback stories in Olympic athletes, but with the Paralympics there are so many interesting stories about athletes overcoming adversities.

DSC00197Anna was our final presentation before we head off to EUROPE!! We are all very prepared and anxious to be abroad. The next check in will be from the airport!

Haley, Jennessa, Emma


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