Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, October 15, 2012

Faith Triumphs over Hardship in Paralympics

After the Summer Olympics wrapped up in London, 4,280 athletes who have physical or visual impairments then competed in the “Paralympics.” These athletes included American soldiers injured in the line of duty, and their performance was as inspiring as the traditional Olympic Games that preceded it. A service of “Courage and Faith” at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London marked the opening of these faith-inspired games, which included 20 sports, such as men’s under-22 basketball for young men who are paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.

While most of the top stars at the real Olympics are Christian athletes inspired by their faith, governments controlling these games typically disfavor religious or controversial remarks. Athletes were even told to be careful about what they said on Twitter, lest someone feign offense and demand that the athlete be sent home. But the Paralympics are not so hostile to faith and free speech, as demonstrated by the crowd of 1600 who attended the St. Paul’s ceremony at the outset of these games. And unlike the empty seats that spotted the Olympics, the Paralympics had 80,000-person sell-outs for every session, morning and evening. Some of the athletes, despite their disabilities, rivaled the performance of the gifted Olympic athletes who preceded them.

Oscar Pistorius, a faith-inspired double-amputee who competed in the traditional Olympics to the amazement of the world, was himself defeated in the 100m and 200m by other outstanding disabled athletes at the Paralympics. He then won the gold medal in the 400m race. One athlete, American Navy lieutenant Brad Snyder, had lost his sight in the service of our Nation when a bomb exploded as he sought to help another soldier. But he swam to his third gold medal in the Paralympics, declaring that "It is an honor and a privilege to be here serving my country.”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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