Okay - On to the women's Shot Put in her class, which was held on September 6, 2012. The sport of Shot Put has been around for thousands of years, believed to have hailed from an old Celtic tradition. The original tradition of throwing a stone evolved into throwing a cannon ball from the 1700's and from which the term 'shot' derives from. The shot used in the first modern Olympics was apparently made of lead, while the modern day shot is made of smooth iron or brass. Shot Put has been an Olympic event since 1896 and a women's Olympic event since 1948. A shot put ball can weigh anywhere between 8.8 to 16 pounds. I don't care what any armchair athlete says, either of the two is heavy, cramped in your neck and then forced to throw, which is exactly why it is a sport. After a number of attempts, Brydee zung that shot put like a grenade out the window of a preschool with it's pin pulled - with a best mark of 6.05 meters; nearly 20 feet, slightly farther than she threw at the 2010 Commonwealth Games of 5.85 meters. Now.....20 feet. Think about that. Pick up a 10 pound dumbbell in your house. Crank it into your neck. Then, without the benefit of an overthrow, toss that dumbell the distance of my taxi. You likely won't do it. You won't even do it standing up and spinning. But also, try doing it in the middle of an olympic stadium with thousands of people staring at you, with judges close by, in addition to snapping/whirling camera's and enormous pressure. In any event, Brydee did as she does in most anything she sets her mind to - and killed the Shot Put.
Now, its worth mentioning here that scoring the 2012 Paralympics is a bit complicated. I watched and looked at resulting ranks for a lot of different events with absolute confusion. I also watched competitions that were completely full of wonderment, like swimmers with the use of only one arm competing against others with the use of both arms - etc. etc.. Final scoring results of competitions were really perplexing. Brydee is ranked Number 1 in the world for her classification. Since the games have ended, I have learned a few things. For instance, when you compare Brydee's 2012 results with some others, you will see that she has less points than those who threw at a lesser distance. Are you confused? Well, let me explain why this is the case in MUCH easier detail in how scores are figured and finalized:
In any event, this is a topic for a whole other write up. All I will say right now, is that at the heart of any large machine, always lies an unattended and forgotten about monkey wrench. In the case of the Paralympic Scoring System, it is a distinct possibility that the monkey wrench are good intentioned people reaching out to and relying on others who over complicate things. RAZA is easy, simple, and fair! Said no one ever. (Except Mr. Raza, $$$$$$$$), Perhaps there are many variables I have not examined; however, I think it's likely a fair and normal criticism. It's easy for guys like Raza, sitting with his graphs eating potato chips trying to figure out new and inventive ways to keep his formula useful and relevant with the IPC - he already won his POT OF GOLD.
Next week: A follow up on my next over town hero, Alicia Brelsford Dana of the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team. Until then, here are some photos of Paralympian Brydee Moore taken while at the London games: