The Editor’s Take
I tasted the Paralympic games for myself this afternoon as I saw the GB women’s wheelchair basketball team lose to China. The whole experience however, summed up everything that’s great about Britain, and why this Olympics will go down as the best ever.
Waking up late meant I missed the start of the day, so I cannot speak on how organised the North Greenwich Arena was when the majority of people went through the gates. What I can say is, every volunteer that lined the root up to the door were fun, happy and helpful.
Inside the arena, the crowd were watching a GB team being outclassed by a better team, but this didn’t matter, GB chants echoed round the room. Then during breaks in play, a slow motion Mexican wave and a good dose of dad dancing kept the crowd entertained.
Leaving the venue was again a breeze, helpful and friendly staff who had a smile meant we was out the door in no time; unlike the ques experienced when trying to exit Stamford Bridge on match days.
The athletes are inspirational, how they overcome personal tragedies to achieve great things and have the ultimate honour of competiting for their country, but the athletes are just part of the reason these games are great.
The supporters, and the volunteers are what really make these games special and while the performances on the track are what will be remembered, it won’t be until Rio that the true value of the Great British public will be seen.
Dean Mears, Sports editor