Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The Paralympics loomed large for our family during the games. Judy and Rick went to wheelchair tennis with our new friends Karen Stock and Deborah Bender, other Fulbright professors.
The entire BISS school also went to the Paralympics, so Elizabeth and Anna participated in that trip. The government had released a large block of tickets but limited sales to 10 per person. Apparently the school took 15 teachers and staff over to the Bank of China, which was selling the tickets, and had folks stand in line, buy 10, then get back in line, until they had 400+ tickets. Anna saw football and Elizabeth went to volleyball.
As a family we had tickets for the next day, Sat Sept 10th, at the Birds’ Nest to watch track and field events. That stadium is even more impressive in person than TV. The atmosphere was festive. Rick likened it to a trip to the White House; to Judy it was more like Fenway for a playoff game.
Finally, the German Paralympics team came for a surprise visit to the BISS School on Sept. 19th. Athletes signed autographs, played wheelchair basketball with the students and talked about their experience. By the end of these many intersections with the Paralympics, we were talking more about the athletic ability and less about the disability. This was a great experience for all of us, not just the children.