BBC BLOGS - The Ouch! Blog It's a disability thing
« Previous | Main | Next »

Tanni vs Phelps?

Post categories:

Vaughan | 09:51 UK time, Wednesday, 13 August 2008

I've been interested - but also rather irritated - by the coverage of US swimmer Michael Phelps' achievements at the Beijing Olympics this week. For those of you who don't know, he's just broken the record for winning Olympic gold medals by winning his 10th and 11th early this morning (Wednesday). By all accounts, he's going to rack up some more too - and the next record he's aiming for is the most gold medals won during one Olympic Games.

It's impressive stuff, and the news coverage keeps telling us that he's surpassed the nine golds previously won by names such as Paavo Nurmi, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz and Larysa Latynina, making Phelps the greatest Olympian ever. Even Sir Steve Redgrave got a mention in some reports, despite the fact that he won a comparatively paltry five Olympic golds.

Hmm. But isn't there a name missing? What about Tanni Grey-Thompson?

Tanni won 11 Paralympic golds during her illustrious career, yet her name doesn't seem to have figured in these comparisons at all. Is this where the Paralympics stops being part of 'the Olympic movement', and becomes that 'other' Games that takes place after the main event, and is for (whisper it) disabled people?

So I'd like to offer Ouch's congratulations to Michael Phelps - on equalling Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson's tally of golds. Just for the record, you understand.


  • Comment number 1.

    Horray! I was begining to think it was just me. DAME Tanni has been criminally over looked first by the British establishment, it took her longer to be made a Dame than for Steve Redgrave to become a knight and now by the commentary on Phelps.
    I don't want and in fact would strongly oppose special treatment for para-lympians, just equal billing for those sports men and women of all kinds.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well until he has achieved the longevity and consistency she had - and earned respect of his peers - then he can't really be put in the same class as her.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well spotted - let's hope all the news channels apologise - (if only) for the ommission - not the first time Tanni's been overlooked either - I seem to remember a BBC Sports Personality award ceremony a couple of years back when access to the stage was overlooked then too - still couldn't happen now in this enlightened age - or could it?

  • Comment number 4.

    I've always argued she is the greatest living sportsperson.

    No other athlete would be able to win world class marathons as well as 100 and 800 metre gold medals. Can you imagine Paula Radcliffe in a sprint final? Tanni's ability over such a range of distances makes her one of the best who ever lived.

    She is simply an awesome human being, criminally overlooked by just about everybody. The Michael Phelps talk is just the latest in a sad string of insults.

  • Comment number 5.

    im finding all these swimming medals a little tedious - having medals for different distances is fine but in different ways? In fairness to terra firma based athletes the pool should be much the same as on the track - im sure Bolt and Gay would have at least three or four more golds between them if there was a running backwards 100m's and perhaps a 400m's freestyle event which might be far more entertaining then watching yet another victory by a freak shouldered american man fish

  • Comment number 6.

    I am really shocked your term being used to describe Michael Phelps, "a freak shouldered american fish man" if a disabled olympian was described as this I'm pubic outrage would ensue, but because he's able bodied he's entitled to abused like it's open season. A shocking statement. Michael Phelps is the greatest olympian despite the fact he able bodied, for those outraged that he then its just tough, and there's not need for the name calling., and using the term "freak" is beyond ironic seeing as for disabled people this, and this isnt hundreds of years ago, more like less than 50 probably, was the norm for them to be referred as.

  • Comment number 7.

    There is no doubt that Phelps is one of the greatest sports people of all time.
    It's also true that the swimming events allow an athlete many more opportunities to win gold then just about any other event. If Phelps was only able to compete in one or two events and in doing so, win less medals, would this make him any less of an athlete? Of course not...
    The static and skewed counting of medals doesn't do justice to the effort put in by all these athletes representing their countries.

  • Comment number 8.

    personally i've been rooting for phelps throughout the week nd was trully impressed but the fact that tanni hasn't been considered upto his standards even though she has just as many medals is disgraceful! Phelps is not yet the greatest olympian he is equal to one and when or if he gets his 12th thats when he trully will be the greatest! shameful!

  • Comment number 9.

    "No other athlete would be able to win world class marathons as well as 100 and 800 metre gold medals. Can you imagine Paula Radcliffe in a sprint final? Tanni's ability over such a range of distances makes her one of the best who ever lived."

    She's on wheels though! A marathon on wheels is not as hard as running it.

  • Comment number 10.

    The blurb is that Phelps is the greatest Olympian not Olympian OR Paralympian. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't they distinctly separate occasions?

  • Comment number 11.

    If you are including Paralympians, why not include other countries paralympians and how about a paralympic swimmer?

    Most Decorated
    Swimmer Trischa Zorn, blind since birth, is the most decorated Paralympian in the history of the Games. The American competed at seven Paralympic Games between 1980 and 2004 and won an incredible 55 medals - 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze.

  • Comment number 12.

    "if a disabled olympian was described as this I'm [sure] pubic outrage would ensue" That is really funny.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am utterly sick of hearing Ouchers whinge about able bodied people. Phelps is a brill athelete and Olympic commentators are right to compare him with other able bodied people. Yes it would be nice to have more cross over between the Para and Olympic mainstream - it gets me down too some of the time (I have CP) but T-G and Phelps practice different disciplines and you should compare like with like atleast. While we're on the subject of mainstream and Para inclusion ect why is there not more mention of the Special Olympics and the stirling work of the high acheiving atheletes there?

  • Comment number 14.

    My point is why does the greatest Olympian have to be the one with the most gold medals?

    There are many other attributes, facts and circumstances which can contribute to this fact.

    This is a rather moot debate to be honest. Tanni ia arguably the greatest athelete in mordern history though, that I will give you.

    I'm sure if Chris Hoy could enter nine races at the velodrome he would walk away with nine medals too.

    Perspective is an amazing thing.

  • Comment number 15.

    Clearly obvious that Tanni is much superior athlete than Michael Phelps.....I am sure she would be proud of all her support and not in the least embarrassed by the comparison......................................

  • Comment number 16.

    Also Para qualifying times are different if we are being pedantic.

  • Comment number 17.

    Phelps is clearly a far superior athelete to Dame Tanni. Swimming is open to anyone, and a fairly popular sport. Wheel chair racing at the paraolympics is open to - I assume - those that need wheel chairs. If it was a popular sport that the able bodied also participated in and she had achieved the same then prehaps she could be compared to Phelps.

    I imagine a comparison of Phelps's and dame Tanni's training regime would also point to the fact that he is a far superior athlete.

    In short she's a paraolympian and he's an olympian. Because the vast majority of people are not disabled the olympics is far more competetive and, in purely sporting terms, superior.

  • Comment number 18.

    No disprespect but no matter how wonderful the acheivements they were made with the aid of a wheel chair, the news is being reported on the true olympics.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Phelps is an incredible athlete, and he deserves all of the accolades he receives. It's very sad, however, that people commenting on this blog can't see the worth, the effort, and the enormous amount of stamina and effort it takes to become a paralymipic athlete. The comment that wheeling is easier than running has obviously beenmade by someone who has never whelled more than a few feet in chair (if ever), and to say that there is only one "true" olympics is very cruel. Most paraplegics depend solely on the muscles in their arms and shoulders to wheel -- much less muscle than the legs --and often have no use of the balancing muscle from the abs. Try wheeling a chair for a day before making those comments. I've been doing it for twelve years and still couldn't have accomplished what Tanni did. Hopefully the media will correct their oversights and acknowledge athletes of all abilities.

  • Comment number 21.

    I am sick of the name Phelps, the BBC seem more obsessed with him than our own athletes, Dame Tammi was much more of an athlete than he will ever be. As for that stupid cardboard cut out in the studio is this so when the swimming is over they can get him in the studio so they can tell him how much the British adore him (not this one). They even employ another American Michael Johnson who has the personality of british rail cheese sandwich to tell us how badly our athletes are performing. why don't we employ the likes of Daley or Lindford who will back our athletes all the way.

  • Comment number 22.

    These comparisons between competitors in different disciplins are foolish and add nothing. We should celebrate the success of each of these atheletes in their own right.

  • Comment number 23.

    Total respect to TGT, she has acheived fabulous things. However, it mus tbe borne in mind that she competes only against other disabled people. If all comers were allowed to enter, and able bodied people could train to compete in Wheelchair events, let's be totally honest she may never have won a medal never mind the great hall she has. Phelps on the other hand has to compete against anyone in the world who is any good - so in pure competitions terms he is far ahead of any Paralympian. Things have to be put into perspective.

    That said I'm not sure I'd go with Phelps as the greatest of them all though.

    The fact that one swimmer can compete in so many events suggests that it is not so gruelling as Athletics, nor as specific, there is no chance that any Track and Field star would ever dream of trying to win 9 golds in one games. It is simply undo-able. There are so many different swimming disciplines that are closely related that a top top swimmer like Phelps has a much better chance a bif haul of medals. Carl Lewis's surely has to be right up there in this debate.

    What about our own Steve Redgrave, OK 'only' 5 golds, but spread across 5 games, in a truelly greuelling sport and suffering from diabetes. That is mighty impressive - longevity, stamina and loads of ability and spirit.

    Noone can ever call the one and only all time greatest because it depends on your viewpoint.

  • Comment number 24.

    Gooner 892: comment 18

    What a stupid thing to say..
    Are Lance Armstrong's achievments less valid because he used a bike???? She was in a wheel chair race, so she could hardly have competed without one..

  • Comment number 25.

    I think it is fair not to mention TGT when talking of the greatest Olympian. She is the greatest Paralympian without doubt but the two worlds dont collide. Im not bashing TGT here, her acheivments are remarkable but uncomparable with able bodied athletes imo.

    As for the greatest Olympian. I agree that this shouldnt purely be based on amount of gold won. It is always gonna be a swimmer with the amount of races they can compete in. Whilst Phelps is obviously a legendary swimmer (why did the others turn up) and is deserving of all his medals and records I dont think this makes him the greatest.

    Who is the greatest is for everyone to decide in their own minds. For me Sir Steve Winning 5 golds over a period of 16 years in an endurance event will take some topping. If Phelps competed over another 3 Olympics till the age 35 and is still at the top I might change my mind.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    The greatest olympian? Its the competitor who battles against a lack of investment, poor or no training facilities, no government or other support and still produces a qualification standard in their sport good enough to be there - whether they finish first or last, whether they are able bodied or not. And these and other games are full of them. Let's admire their dedication, desire, defiance and be inspired.

  • Comment number 28.

    Never ever say anything is easier in a wheelchair especially getting strong enough physically and mentally to even compete in a race for others to watch. Go and visit the centres where people who are disabled for many reasons spend years having the courage and determination to face life again and after that compete in races. Many of these people were able bodied men and women whose dreams in life were cut short by trauma. It takes a very very special person to gain olympic standard in any event. This does not undermine the achievements of the fully fit olympians, it just puts it in perspective. (RGN)

  • Comment number 29.

    Let's keep it a bit real - I like Tanni and recognise her as a marvelous athlete - but when you are competing to be the best Olympic athlete of all time - the paralympics actually cannot feature - it is a modern concessionary introduction that serves a different demand, for something that is, when all is said and done a series of sports from which fully able bodied athletes are excluded. This means no greatest Olympian can come from these games.
    And with this rather doubtful title...I personally wouldn't allow a woman swimmer who won 11 golds to sit as an equal to Phelps - until she beat him in the same races.
    I also think that swimming being a sport that allows for one skill to win so many medals in one games - whereas, say, a hurdler, wouldn't have that opportunity - throws a possible doubt on an swimmer as "greatest Olympian" - a decathlete could easily argue that theirs was the only sport that counted in terms of "greatest Olympian" titles.

  • Comment number 30.

    It is impossible to compare athletes from different sports events to each other, let alone compare able bodied and disabled bodied athletes to each other. All you can compare athletes to are their peers and past competitors in their own sport. In that case: Phelps IS the best swimmer, Thompson IS the best wheelchair athlete, Redgrave IS the best rower e.t.c. The topic of "The Greatest Olympian Ever" is, therefore, impossible to answer and is only really relevant as pub banter along with "who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman?"!

  • Comment number 31.

    Who cares? IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON :)

  • Comment number 32.

    Olympic sports, like most other sports are no longer about sportsmanship, the American "winning is more important than taking part" mentality has pervaded nearly all corners of international sport.

    To me the greatest Olympian ever is Carl Ludwig "Lutz" Long of Germany. At the 1936 Berlin Games he advised the American Jesse Owens on how to improve his long jump. Owens then beat him in the final. That is what I call sportsmanship and makes a great Olympian, especially as the German must have incurred the wrath of Adolf Hitler, an action which cost many other Gemans their lives

    As Owens himself said,
    "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four kilates friendship that I felt for Lutz Long at that moment."

  • Comment number 33.

    Neither. Daley Thomson is surely greater than both. He competed and beat the best in TEN different events, at two Olympics.

  • Comment number 34.

    There is no comparsion between the two. The difference in the number of people who compete in swimming to disabled athletics is huge and should render comparsions useless. Although Tanni is a great in the paraolympic world she should not be regarded as the greatest olympian ever.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have thought for some time that the paralympics should be blended into the main event.

    We should have a single 3-4 week Olympics during which paralympic events take place alongside their able-bodied equivalents.

    That way the advertising value of paralympic events will be vastly greater. A 4-week festival will generate much better ticket revenues and help pay back the cost of the whole olympics. It will spread the tourist impact over a longer time making it easier to get hotel rooms and also generating more business for hotels etc.

    And also, of course, it will raise the prestige of paralympic athletes!

  • Comment number 36.

    Silly assumptions but the term Olympian might mean being in the Olympics where as Paralympians might compete in Paralympics. So given that Phelps is a competitor in the Olympics and has won more golds than anyone else in this sort of Olympics that makes him the best OLYMPIAN. Dame Tanni may well rate as the best PARALYMPIAN. I can't see why everyone is arguing :-)!!

  • Comment number 37.

    We've got to be able to get away from this nonsense that suggests simply having a disability elevates an athletes achievements above those of 'mere' able-bodied competitors. And to take umbrage at the suggestion that being in a wheelchair can be an advantage is frankly ridiculous - are you really suggesting that the reason the winner of the wheelchair london marathon finished over half an hour ahead of the fastest runner is because he was simply a better athlete?

    And come on folks, have a sense of humour - the 'freakish manfish' comment was obviously a backhanded compliment to the Phelps, not an insult. Besides, it was funny.

  • Comment number 38.

    why should you be so biased and only include the para, what about the gay olympics, or my kids school olympics? I really think you are trying to be too PC, you don't really think that Tanni can be compared with MP, they are on different planets

  • Comment number 39.

    Can't help thinking there would not be all this 'downer' on Phelps if he were a Brit - or at least not an American. Sour grapes again for the lost 'colonies'?

  • Comment number 40.

    I can't understand why you would start drawing comparisons with someone beginning their carrer with someone who is ending theirs. Not only is it Phelps's achivement of the golds but its the mannor in which hes achived them and the time scale which he has conqured these 8 events in the pool. For you to be so perdantic makes you seem pathetic in disbelif of one person being missed off the roll call of previous olympians, or Para-olympians in this case. Why not just accept them both as seperate entitys. I don't see why connections between Phelps and Tani need to be addressed. Just this afternoon it was suggested that Bolt be the greatest of this games. I dont here public outcry to this bold statement from Micheal Johnson.

  • Comment number 41.

    Who actually cares about the paraolympics. How many ppl are young, in a wheelchair and have the facilities to train around a track. If everyone was in a wheelchair TGT probably wouldnt even make the county team never mind be the legend she is. How many ppl does TGT actually have to compete agaisnt. Everybody runs at school, you always know who the fastest kid was. In my school it was Michael Rimmer, whos currently running for us at this olympics. Bolt has 3billion men to beat to become the fastest man in the world, TGT probably has a few thousand who are lucky enough to have the facilities. Same goes for phelps, most of the world population can't swim. Redgrave too, how many ppl have tried his sport and he always had at least 1 person helping.

  • Comment number 42.

    "She's on wheels though! A marathon on wheels is not as hard as running it."

    As another poster has said, it is impossible to make a statement like this without having tried a marathon on wheels.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to think of the Paralympics as similar to a separate division of the Olympics. For example, it wouldn't make sense to have women and men in the same 100m race, but that doesn't make women or men any less impressive. Why can't paralympic races be a part of the Olympics as opposed to seen as a separate Olympics?

  • Comment number 43.

    I have to whole heartedly agree with the following post: 6. At 12:10pm on 15 Aug 2008, famousKEZZER wrote:
    I am really shocked your term being used to describe Michael Phelps, "a freak shouldered american fish man" if a disabled olympian was described as this I'm pubic outrage would ensue, but because he's able bodied he's entitled to abused like it's open season. A shocking statement...."

    What a hateful little comment that was. Destroying whatever point ( if there was a legitimate one) that the original comment intended. An ugly
    and bitter mind.

    Aside from that, I can only say that the quantifying of greatness based on medals is obviously flawed, and that each competition should be judged for what it is....

    It never fails to amaze how much animosity and misanthropic nastiness can arise from sport - particularly this one, that is supposed to emobidy the opposite.

  • Comment number 44.

    It should surprise no-one that the Olympics get more publicity than the Paralympics. The Olympics are open to everyone, but the Paralympics are only open to a certain minority group. Which competiton would you expect to have more universal appeal? When an Olympic champion wins, he has beaten the whole world. When a Paralympic champions wins, most of the world was not allowed to compete.

  • Comment number 45.

    It has to be Daley Thompson - Olympic gold medals for the decathlon twice and broke the decathlon world record 4 times, was the first athlete to hold simultaneous Olympic, Commonwealth, European and world titles in a single event, was undefeated in all competitions from 1979-1987 and still holds the UK record. And that was the decathlon - ten events demanding conflicting abilities. He had to be world class at ten different events and he managed it year after year.

  • Comment number 46.

    'freakish man-fish reminded me of the classic Viz character Billy The Fish - if only Phelps had the mullet!

    As for 'greatest olympian' - I would have to say it's more professional than ever, and so 'greatest' seems to equate to 'has the most money' (time to train and facilities)

    Rowng is 'elitist' - how many countries have an Oxford/Cambridge to nurture young rowers

    Still, good luck to all...

  • Comment number 47.

    THANK YOU for pointing out Tanni's achievements!! I also get the feeling that the para olympics gets little coverage. Let's see more on our tv screens please!

  • Comment number 48.

    I asked my daughter who just missed out on the paralympic squad and she said Tanni is not an Olympian

  • Comment number 49.

    Everyone, this is ridiculous. Tanni is nowhere near one of 'the best olympians ever' purely because she is disabled.
    i don't mean that in a horrible way, it's just true. Because there is such a small number of disabled people on earth, not to mention disabled athletes, tanni isn't competing against nearly the same number as able bodied athletes, she is coming from a far far far smaller pool of people for the competition so therefore there will be alot less competition for places, especially when you think that the different disability classes reduce the number of people she's going against even further.
    Athletes like phelps are going against billions of other able bodied people in the world that could also theoretically have entered the sport, whereas disabled athletes are only competing against a miniscule number of others.
    in conclusion, disabled athletes should very rarely be counted amongst the top olympians, and only when there are as many disabled people as able bodied competing in sport can the two be compared. As it is, stop being foolish and just accept that while what she's done is outstanding, it's nowhere near the achievements of able bodied athletes with similar medal tallies. peace.

  • Comment number 50.

    Tanni could only be considered the greatest if "able-bodied" athletes, with the same preparation as her, had raced against her in events - all in wheelchairs, and she had won.

  • Comment number 51.

    Tani certainly has accomplished a lot. But the Olympics and the Para-Olympics are two totally different things. There's just no doubt that Michael is the greatest Olympian (not "para-Olympian") ever. least so far.....

  • Comment number 52.

    I've been irritated by the whole BBC coverage! We are constantly subjected to our own athletes' 'achievements' even if they come in last, at the expense of focusing on the actual winners of annoying!

  • Comment number 53.

    It seems to me that we are trying to compare chalk with cheese here. The only point I would make is that someone like Steve Redgrave has had to perform at the highest level, for 20 years, to win 5 gold medals; currently Phelps has done it for 5 years and, because of the way his sport is structured, has the chance to enter multiple events at every Olympic Games.

  • Comment number 54.

    Rebbecah Romero has won a Silver in Rowing and now a gold in cycling.Only the second person to have won medals in totally different sports, so she must be up there with the best

  • Comment number 55.

    I agree with Walrus.
    To be honest, the Games, are all political. Becca, with her two Gold for swimming, is going to have a good ad contract. Good, for her. I think the para Olympics are fab even though I'm not disabled. Money keeps these so called 'great athletes' great. Sad, but true

  • Comment number 56.

    It's very annoying when watching the Olympic Breakfast to have the presenters going endlessly on about nothing then to show that so and so of GB won a gold medal, here is watch he or she had to say. Why can't we see and witness these great occasions, and yes, be proud of the winner(s) and hear our National Anthem?

  • Comment number 57.

    I agree with a great deal of what has been said and in particular the 'oversight' of Tani's achievements. I really do feel that you can't compare swimming achievements with those on dry land - there just aren't the opportunities for the multi-race entries that there are in swimming. That doesn't take anything away from Michael Phelps but......lets see if he can produce the same standard over 20 years! Long live Sir Steve and Dame Tani!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    I hate so called Dame Tanni, listening to her bitterly whine on about the real Athletes getting their deserved praise and how we should all bend over even further in pretending we care about her novelty achievements , we're kindenough to give you your own weeek in the spotlight, lets not patronise her further by pretending we rank her alongside the greats like Phelps or Eddie the Eagle

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    As an able-bodied athlete Phelps has a higher number of other swimming competitors vying for Olympic medals. It's remarkable that he's obtained this number of golds over two Olympics. Talking of longevity, swimming appears a young person's sport, there have been several young teens that have won medals. At least there's no chance of a knighthood for the American, they'll probably give him an island; talking about knighthoods/dame - it should only, if at all, be bestowed upon athletes who have broken several world records and competed at more than one Olympics and had longevity. Otherwise, the Queen will be very busy in the New Year!

  • Comment number 61.

    This arguement is pathetic... The olympics and the paraolympics are completely different. Phelps is competing against millions of others and has broKen 7 world records in 8 days. Tanni competes against alot fewer people and i find it disgraceful two such people are being compared.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    To say there is no land based equivalent to Phelps is nonsense.

    100m relay
    110m hurdles
    400m relay

    If somebody did that lot I would let them off the other two!

  • Comment number 64.

    What a ridiculous and facile argument!

    There is no way that it is right or useful to compare their relative achievments. In terms of numbers of competitors and thus pure competition, it is easier to become a Paraolympic champion than an Olympic champion. Fact.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi all - I'm astonished and surprised to log in and see so many comments on this post this morning.

    A couple of things to note, however. Firstly, rude comments about Michael Phelps along the lines of 'freak manfish' will not be tolerated. His sporting achievements in this Olympics are obviously amazing - I am certainly not decrying that.

    Secondly, I recognise that we may have a lot of new visitors to Ouch coming in and commenting on this post. It's perhaps worth reminding you that Ouch is a *disability* website, and a community for disabled people, so comments about Paralympic sports not being comparable to Olympic sports, and that wheelchair sports are somehow 'easier', probably won't get the most favourable reception here.

    Finally, if you read my post, I am in no way comparing the achievements of Tanni Grey-Thompson and Michael Phelps. I am comparing the *coverage* that has occurred, which undoubtedly has left out the medal haul of the wheelchair athlete. While it's true that the Paralympics and the Olympics are separate events, it's also true that both are frequently termed as part of "the Olympic movement".

  • Comment number 66.

    Only disabled people are allowed to compete in the Paralympics so if you win in the Paralympics you have only beaten people from this minority group. If you win in the Olympics, you have beaten everyone. That's why more people are interested in the Olympics than the Paralympics and why the Olympics gets more coverage. Why should it get equal coverage when it is - by definition - a minority sport?

    Also, if this blog is mainly for disabled people, as the host says, then why have it on the BBC website's front page all this time?

  • Comment number 67.

    drivingTheBounder - The choice of which of the many BBC blogs gets featured on the BBC homepage is not down to the individual sites, but the responsibility of the team who produce the BBC homepage.

  • Comment number 68.

    "Is this where the Paralympics stops being part of 'the Olympic movement', and becomes that 'other' Games that takes place after the main event, and is for (whisper it) disabled people?"

    Yes, you have hit the nail on the head. It may make some unhappy, and it may feel very unfair, but the fact is that the coverage will tend to revolve around that which people are most interested in, and that which they watch the olympics in the hopes of seeing. It is unlikely that, despite efforts to change this by those involved in the paralympics, that you will be able to change the interest of the majority of people. I know this seems unfair, but that is life.

    Paralympics has its following, and I doubt anyone would object to it, and I suspect most people respect the accomplishments of its athletes. However, demanding that it be treated, covered, considered and viewed as the able bodied olypic sports are is unrealistic, irrational, and frankly, I find it silly.

  • Comment number 69.

    What about Lee Pearson he was Triple Gold Dressage Medalist and was overlooked when the able bodied dressage was on. Just like Dame Tammi Grey Tompson was overlooked.

    Lee is MBE and OBE and a good rider for the disabled paralymics. Also if he competed with the able bodied he would win hands down as he is a very talented disabled rider. Lee is a true ambassador for the disabled and he should be recognised more in the able bodied field of Dressage.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.