My second “public support and sharing of a hashtag” ever: #WeAreAllSportsFans. The first being #endpianoviolence, which if you haven’t checked out Meredith Koch’s story, you ought to. The goal of the #WeAreAllSportsFans campaign, launched by Mpower Sports and Recreation on Aug. 1, is to reach the international sports community and sports fans worldwide and have them engage with adaptive sports before, during and after Rio 2016. The Paralympic games begin September 7 and the website is ://www.paralympic.org/rio-2016 if you’ve never checked them out before.
I’ve decided this is something awesome and worth sharing, supporting, and waving my hands around for, in blogging style, of course. With our worldwide news and presidential election media mostly causing stress and heart palpitations, the #WeAreAllSportsFans campaign makes it easy to be positive and excited about the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio in just a matter of weeks.
Here’s the thing about the Paralympic athletes featured in this show of social media support rallying around the games. These athletes are not inspirational because they are disabled athletes; the inspiration comes from being an incredible athlete who happens to have a disability. Seriously, we watch the film; we see the pictures; we read their stories about how they came to this place of being a Paralympic athlete, and we remain amazed hours, days, and weeks later. Maybe for a split second, we wonder about whether they were born with their disability or sustained an injury as a child or teenager or even more recently. But then we move beyond that because we are so utterly amazed by their ABILITY.
You don’t have to be a sports fan in the traditional sense of growing up an athlete or being obsessed with televised competition or “live” athletic experiences. You don’t have to run marathons, half marathons or even 5K’s. You don’t have to post pictures on FB of your latest bike ride or check your friends’ Strava status daily to be a real sports fan. The #WeAreAllSportsFans hashtag is for all of us, an inclusive group of humans with a natural predilection for finding what is good and best in the world, including that of sports, of people pushing themselves to their max potential.
Geoff is asked the question all the time about why he did not go the Paralympic ski racing route when he was younger; he explains how there were two routes open to him: competition and education. He is one of the biggest sports fans ever because he likes to help people find their voice again, their life, what they loved most about living with family and friends– through the power of sport. The power of sport is fairly magical for athletes and families alike.
Today, I volunteered at adaptive waterskiing for Eastern Adaptive Sports, something I haven’t done in a long time given our mini sports fans who prefer their own action as opposed to “spectating”. I felt the sports fan love in the crowd of parents, caregivers, athletes with physical or intellectual disabilities or traumatic brain injuries communing together on a beautiful day on a lovely lake. They waterskied sitting down and standing up; some took boat rides, fished for trout and bass or just cheered others on from the boats, dock, or beach nearby.
#WeAreAllSportsFans because we, those of us with compassionate or empathetic or even competitive spirits, find watching others pursue athletic dreams, goals, and achievements as exciting and empowering, and sometimes more so, than competing in them ourselves. A basic description for Mpower Sports is to engage, entertain and educate fans of adaptive sports.” Mpower Sports, Benefit, LLC is a sports media company with a vision to challenge the status quo of ability, sport and athleticism. They seek to reduce the amount of time it takes someone to discover their ability through the power of sport. These are our people! They are an adaptive sports media network for content creators to publish on and engage fans of adaptive sports around the world. Their website is www.mpower-sports.com and you should check out their recent campaign launch and follow the featured athletes, stories, and video connected with the Paralympic athletes who should prove to be very engaging in their own right, given the tremendous ABILITY they possess as competitors, who may move differently in some ways than the rest of us.
#WeAreAllSportsFans. Check it out. My second hashtag. Must be super important. Important enough for me to finally establish a Twitter account @heatherkrill1…apparently there is another Heather Krill in the world, thus I have the one following my name…
Hoping to feature stories about athletes and the power of sport in future blogs…coming up on Saturday will be a post about the Pan Mass Challenge and how this power of sport makes a difference in the lives of the countless people battling cancer…