Everyone knows I like the Paralympics. I’ve blogged about my reasoning before – I doubt anyone cares to hear about it again. What is important though – is that I like them. I don’t care what country one hails from, or particularly what sport an athlete does; however, I admit I have my favorites.
During the 2012 Paralympic Games, I, like so many others, were pissed that the games were not getting the same coverage and attention that the attention whore Olympic Games were getting. I mean – these guys/gals get so much attention, I think they have personal trainers that actually massage their throats after they are done eating. Paralympians though? Yeah – not quite the same ‘attention to detail’ – often having to fend for themselves with training and, at least in one occurrence I am aware – PAY their own way to the most important games of their careers. That’s like telling someone they’ve won a vacation on a cruise ship, but…you just have to pay for the fuel on the ship. If you’ve ever watched the Paralympic Games – it is amazing to see not only an individual overcome a personal challenge, but that isn't nearly as cool as just watching the uniqueness of their athleticism that is really amazing. It is those challenges overcome, that do make the paralympics that much more satisfying/unique - at least as a spectator.
Now, during these games, I was suckered a bit, like most people, into reading articles and facebook posts from different teams – and led to believe that the same support system existed for their Paralympic athletes, as any other athlete may receive. I was wrong. Way wrong. Wrong like saying 2 plus 2 equals a pepperoni pizza. What does an athlete do when their own team does not provide the basic tools in order to perform their sport? Well – they rely on family and friends.
What does Donna and her family *really* think of this seemingly weirdo American cop with a NYC Taxi, who is so adamant in joining the ranks of Brydee Moore support/fans? Well, while I am not privy to dinner table discussion, I can tell you this – my right ear hasn't rung too loud, and that I have been treated with a warm kindness, if not tolerance – especially since they've never actually met me. But since I am on the other side of the globe, I think it’s a fair assessment that no one is in danger of my stopping by and announcing ‘oh hi, I was just in the neighborhood’; therefore, my persistent fact checking in support of my fav Aussie athlete is indeed well intentioned, and I've assured everyone that they can throw out the restraining order paperwork. But seriously, on their own volition, they have sent me parcels containing a little taste of Australia – including commemorative Australian Paralympic items. Hey look, I know I’m a weird guy, a bit eclectic and affable by nature, but when I latch onto something I either like or support – I am true blue. And I am honest when I say that the Moore’s friendly nature in appeasing my sense of self is one of which I have the utmost gratitude.
But nothing, and I mean nothing – could top the package I received last week sent to me from the suburbs of Melbourne. I opened the box, and inside was one of the most treasured things a person like myself could ever receive; the actual jersey that Brydee wore during events at the 2012 Paralympic Games – and she signed it for me! To any person, achieving the honor and distinction of being a Paralympian or really anything that matters most to someone is one thing, but to have as a memory something tangible like a jersey and number plate – are usually things that are deeply personal – something one would definitely hang up for viewing pleasure. But here it was, in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Made in China, worn in London, sent to Australia and onto the USA, this jersey has more miles than a space shuttle mission. The generosity and selflessness to send me this, is immeasurable. This jersey is something that is very representative of a person’s real timeline, not a social media timeline that is easily erased. This is not something that gets thrown in a box and stored in an attic. This jersey represents a deeply personal time in Brydee Moore’s life – and she parted with it knowing it would be appreciated in the hands of someone else; that is character. This in and of itself shows a selflessness that is rare beyond imagination. The fact that she parted with this, shows she puts others first. This, is what Australian Athletics needs more of. I mean hell, that clown convention can’t even reply to email! This is the type of athlete they should be mowing deadwood over for. This, is the type of athlete all games need more of. This….is the type of person we ALL need more of. How many other admirable athletes exist out there that would do this.?. Not many. Do you think Lance Armstrong would part with one of his yellow jerseys (even though he didn’t earn them honestly)? Nope - he arrogantly snapped a pic of them framed in his living room two weeks ago. Do you think U.S. Ski Team’s resident drunken dipshit Bode Miller would part with any of his things? Do you think that if he did, it would be for a simple fan? HELL NO. You know how sometimes you want to be nice to someone, so you give them something very meaningful, and the person really doesn’t give a damn? Well, I’ve been duped before with this, but – as a receiver – this is one of the nicest things I have ever received, and it was sent with no expectations, no agenda; just a pure and kind gesture. This jersey was paid for with a lot of blood sweat and tears - and she didn't even get someone to carry her suitcase.
There is a a lot more I want to say; and I hope circumstances develop in a positive way for her so that I never actually have to say them. My hope - and part time mission - is that the route to future APC games and the Paralympics in 2016 for Brydee and fam has more coasting then pedaling. I'll be paying close attention to *that* development, and I remain hopeful those who in charge of decision making, take a more proactive and humanistic approach to one of their most valuable team members, because Brydee isn't a "cub" - she's a young woman who has given her all to Australian Paralympics - and represents her role in the most admirable of ways. It would be a disservice to not express their pride in her representations - both on and off the field.