Thursday, 6 September 2012

Paralympics: More heroes

This week has sped by in a blur for me, as I have been watching films (see below) and attending the Paralympics every day. And it's been amazing to see how the British public has taken these athletes to heart, creating heroes whose names are just as well-known as the slicker professional sportsmen and women at the Olympics last month. Just over a week ago, we barely new the names of British competitors like David Weir (above), Ellie Simmonds, Jonnie Peacock and Sarah Storey, to name just four multiple-medallists.

As an accredited journalist, I have been able to attend anything I want, which is why I am taking advantage of the proximity and going to something every day. And all of it has been inspiring! On Monday, I watched GB vs Japan in wheelchair basketball. Tuesday was sunny, so I headed for the equestrian venue in Greenwich Park, then to the fencing arena in the ExCeL. Wednesday, I watched Britain's opening wheelchair rugby match against the USA. And today was 5-a-side football (right) semifinal between Brazil and Argentina - perhaps the most amazing thing I've seen so far, as the participants are all visually impaired, so they are blindfolded to even the field. These guys make the wheelchair rugby brutes look like sissies! 

There are only three days left, and I have my plans mapped out, although I might divert to check out something I've never seen before. And of course, come Monday I will really miss the roar of the crowds as they support all of the competitors then shift into deafening mode when a Brit appears! I'll also miss roaming around in the Olympic Park soaking up the amazing atmosphere.

CRITICAL WEEK:It's been another eclectic week at the movies for UK critics, but we finally caught up with Cannes hit Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt as a hitman. My opinions are also embargoed for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a teen drama starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. Another Cannes film was the hyperactive and rather unengaging Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Much, much better were the independent dramas Keep the Lights On, a beautifully filmed and played romantic drama, and Love, an offbeat and atmospheric low-budget sci-fi drama about an astronaut stranded in space. This coming week we have Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart in On the Road, Joe Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in Looper, Sally Potter's drama Ginger and Rosa, and the British comedy sequel Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger.

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