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News round-up: Superhuman endeavours

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 09:59 UK time, Friday, 20 July 2012

Newspaper front pages


If we had a Word of the Week on the Ouch! Blog it would have to be superhuman - not merely because Channel 4 has chosen to headline its Paralympics advertising blitz with "Meet the superhumans" but because extraordinary human things have been happening.

Did you see the video of the New York bus driver who caught an autistic girl who fell three storeys? She's alive and barely scratched. Amazing!

Did you also hear about the autistic man who survived three weeks in a remote Utah desert? And the rescue helicopter deputy who said he was found thanks to recent autism awareness training he'd had, training which told him that people on the spectrum are drawn to water? So he flew along the river and spotted him sitting in it, emaciated and hours from dying? Wow.

Course, you can question the water fascination element - and we did earlier this week on the blog - but against all odds, the man's alive now. Amazing!

And so back to Channel 4 and its Meet the superhumans commercials. You can betcha that the channel executives had many hours of angsting over whether they should refer to disabled people as super or heroic. Why? Because it's not usually appreciated if superlatives are used to describe regular ordinary actions and everyone's everso conscious of getting things wrong. But of course Paralympics isn't everyday, and if we don't count Paralympians in the heroic Disabled Hall of Fame, then where do we put these people who've pushed their bodies and spirit to the limit? Answers on a postcard, or just in our comments below.

Elsewhere in the news

The proof that Aids can be cured? (The Independent, Thursday 19 July)

Father bans his four-year-old daughter from Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World, because she's not dying anymore (Daily Mail, Thursday 19 July)

[Asperger hacker] Gary McKinnon "no choice" but to refuse medical test (BBC News, Thursday 19 July)

Disabled workers strike over plans to close Remploy factories (The Guardian, Thursday 19 July)

Tiny eye implant could restore sight to the blind - with vision returning instantly, and recovery in just a week (Daily Mail, Thursday 19 July)

Olympic torch route, day 61: girl with spina bifida becomes charity celebrity (The Guardian, Wednesday 18 July)

Revolutionary wheelchair design to go into production (BBC News, Wednesday 18 July)

Bus driver saves [autistic] girl who fell from three stories high (BBC News, Tuesday 17 July)

Feature: Sightseeing when you can't see (BBC News, Tuesday 17 July)

Feature: The "despair" and "loneliness" of austerity Britain (The Guardian, Tuesday 17 July)

Paralympic Games: Channel 4 to run biggest ever marketing push (The Guardian, Tuesday 17 July)

Paralympic swimmer Dave Roberts fails in Paralympic selection fight (BBC Sport, Monday 16 July)

US autistic man survives in Utah desert for three weeks (BBC News, Friday 13 July)

In Pictures: Liverpool's DaDaFest 2012 (BBC News, Friday 13 July)


  • Comment number 1.

    I think why a lot of disabled people don't identify with Paralympians is that they are so fit, strong and independent. Oscar Pretorios can compete alongside Olympians, whereas disabled people dependent on others can only imagine being a Paralympian or Olympian. This does not diminish their athleticism, but is why I have as little interest in the Paralympians as other sports that I do not follow.



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