7. 38-year-old Canadian Michele Stilwell, a quadriplegic, beat her own Paralympic gold medal record in the women’s T52 200 meters in wheelchair racing by two seconds on Saturday. She, her husband Mark and their 11-year-old son Kai, who is autistic, moved to Australia for three months in the winter so Stilwell could train before the Paralympics. As she says in the CBC, “It was a huge sacrifice we’ve all made to make it happen.”
8. 39-year-old Martine Wright, who lost both her legs in the July 7, 2005, bombing in the London subway, wears the no. 7 on her jersey as a member of Britain’s sitting volleyball team. She’s now a mother and has also learned to ski and fly; among her teammates is a British soldier who lost both legs fighting in Iraq. As Wright says of the loss of her legs, “It’s such a negative thing that happened in my life. But I’ve gained something so positive. It’s a miracle in itself.”
9. 31-year-old Nyree Kindred, who has cerebral palsy, won a silver medal in the S6 100 meters backstroke. It was the tenth medal the British swimmer has won at the Paralympics and especially meaningful as her daughter Ella, who was born a year ago, was watching.
10. Or rather, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 as sitting volleyball teams are made up of six athletes. Rwanda sent the first team ever from sub-Saharan Africa; the team was created by two athletes who had “lost limbs fighting on the opposite sides of their country’s bloody genocide,” says the Guardian. The team lost 25-13 to Brazil. As one of its founders, Dominique Bizimana, an ethnic Tutsi, said: “I’m the happiest man in my country because in the beginning when we started nobody was listening. Now every attention is on the Paralympics.”
Photo by Vix_B
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