Alongside the Olympics? Try better than the Olympics


You may not know this, but there's this huge international sporting event going on in London right now. The royal family has been spotted among the spectators. People are breaking records and they're handing out medals all over the place. 

I'm talking about the Paralympics, of course. Something new I learned this year: The word "Paralympics" has nothing to do with the word "paralyze." It comes from the Greek preposition "para", meaning beside or alongside, and the word "Olympic," illustrating that the Paralympic Games are parallel to Olympic Games.

The 2012 Paralympic games, which started Aug. 29, are generating more buzz than ever. There are thousands of fans watching from the stands and following the event through social media and news outlets. There's more broadcast and online coverage this year than ever before, and I read this cool fact on Twitter last week:

Athens pre-sold 1,000 Paralympic Games tickets. Beijing pre-sold 5,000. London has pre-sold 2.3 million tickets.

I didn't really watch the Olympics earlier this summer. I watched most of the opening ceremonies and that's about it. However, I saw medal counts all over the place online: yahoo home page, USA today, Facebook posts, etc. 

Not so much with the Paralympics. Even on the U.S. Paralympic team homepage and aren't full of medal counts. 

What they're full of is awesome success stories about blind swimmers and photos of people playing the games and celebrating their wins. As if being able to compete and being their best is really the goal, not how many medals each country can snag. 

And people are commenting on the Paralympics Facebook page that they've enjoyed watching the Paralympics more than the traditional Olympics—even without the ferocious medal-count competition. I think that's pretty amazing. 

The Paralympics ends this weekend, Sept. 9. Hope you get a chance to catch some of the games—if only to see what HME can do for some really determined athletes. 


P.S. Check out this hilarious picture from the Paralympics Facebook page: The quad doubles gold medal match had some creative fans rooting for USA player David Wagner.