If I were to be perfectly honest, I’d have to admit that during my 23 years of being a paraplegic I’d never heard of the Abilympics until 2010. That’s a great shame, because after my recent involvement in the 8th Abilympics held in Seoul, South Korea, representing Australia in the wood carving category, it was a real eye-opener. In my opinion, the Abilympics should be embraced by many others who are disabled but have skills in which they can compete.
I didn’t bring back any medals, but if you’ll forgive the cliche, it’s not just about winning but taking part that counts and having the opportunity to meet many other competitors from countries as far away as Holland and Canada. There were hundreds of disabled competitors in Seoul who all came together to compete and show communities around the world that it’s about our ability not our disability!
This was the first time I’d been so far away from home with what started out as a group of strangers, but I returned home with fond memories and new friends. The whole experience from start to finish was an exciting adventure and I am sure there are many other talented disabled people out there who would benefit from the experience I had by proudly representing their country in the next Abilympics.