June 18, 2024

There’s something about the Olympics that brings about a sense of pride for Americans, but this pride often ends once the Olympics end. Many people tend to forget about our Paralympians, who are competing in Rio at this moment.
I can’t tell you why many people choose to ignore the Paralympics, but it brings about a deal of sadness for me. These athletes have been through some of the most terrifying things, and yet they choose to compete on the world’s biggest stage to bring back honor for our country.
When I scroll through the television listings in my dorm room, I have the utmost trouble trying to locate some competition of the Paralympics.
Every event, it seems, is only streamed online, with a few exceptions. If this were the Olympics, I wouldn’t be able to scroll more than two listings before I find an event to watch.
Another thing that bothers me is that if this were the Olympics, I would be able to watch other countries compete as well as the United States. Why can’t we rejoice in all the Paralympians have accomplished? Why is it that even if we can find an event on television, that it is most likely an American competing and no other Paralympian?
One of the most exciting events of the Olympics are the opening and closing ceremonies. I had no idea that the opening ceremony for the Paralympics was occurring until I saw a retweet on Twitter from the Olympics account showing the United States marching into the ceremony. Why couldn’t this incredible event be broadcast on national television? Everyone watches the Olympic opening ceremony; why can’t we watch the Paralympic opening ceremony, too?
These Paralympians have done just as much work as our Olympians, if not more. They have persevered through the toughest of obstacles just to be able to compete on this international stage. They are bringing honor back to America. Even if we don’t collect as many gold medals as our Olympians did, we should still be proud.
Currently, the United States stands at 30 gold, 34 silver and 26 bronze. Although these numbers are far behind leader China, our Paralympians have earned these medals, and with some of the toughest obstacles they first had to adapt to before they could continue with the sport they came to love.
I’m stuck with a variety of questions for us as Americans: Why can’t we find pride in our hearts to watch these athletes perform on the biggest international stage?
Why can’t we be proud of the Paralympians for all that they have accomplished?
Why do we even cast the Paralympics in such a light as this? Why don’t we cast a good light on them at all?
Why don’t we cheer for them as loudly and as proudly as we did our Olympians?
Why don’t we know their names as we did our Olympians?
I therefore call upon all Wittenberg students to show their pride for the Paralympians this fall as they compete for gold and international accomplishment. If we can do it for our Olympians, then we sure as hell can cheer louder for our Paralympians.

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