The difference between the winning times in the men’s 50m freestyle swimming finals at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics was just 3.79 seconds.

More able-bodied than most of us. Pic:

At the London Games in July, Frenchman Frances Manaudou won gold in the 50m with a time of 21.34 seconds.

At the Paralympics last week, Australian Matt Cowdrey won gold in 25.13 seconds. Cowdrey’s time was a new Paralympics world record. It was just a touch over four seconds slower than the Olympic world record of 20.91, set by Brazil’s Cesar Cielo in 2009.

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  • Justin of Earlwood says:

    07:04pm | 09/09/12

    Righto, I’ll stick my head up to be shot off…. Everything the paralympians do is inspiring, but it shouldn’t be compared to olympic performance. It simply isn’t in the same league. Sure, you’ve beaten the best in your division, but you haven’t beaten the best in the world. What it… Read more »

  • Craig Wilson says:

    05:32pm | 09/09/12

    This guy is the true hero of the Australian Olympic campaign, not those so called “able bodied” big noters who were so certain they were going to win gold and ended up being duds. The Paralympians have restored my faith in good sportsmanship and graciousness. Well done Matt, you should… Read more »


We’re all loving the Paralympics this week, and trotting out the platitudes and clichés like they’re going out of style. Yes, that was a deliberate use of cliché.

It'd be great if we had as much love for the NDIS as for Paralympians like Australia's 800m T53 winner Richard Colman

Truth is, sometimes there is a place for platitudes. When you watch a bloke like Matt Cowdrey, who overnight swam the 50m freestyle with one arm in a time less than five seconds slower than the able-bodied world record, there’s not much else to say except what a wonderful, brave competitor the bloke is.

The ABC is to be congratulated for showing over 100 hours of Paralympic action, which is a damn sight better than America’s rights-holder NBC, which is showing just four one-hour delayed highlights packages across the full 11 days of Paralympic competition. Way to pay tribute to the 20 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on the team. But we shouldn’t feel too self-satisfied about the Australian public’s enthusiasm for this event.

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  • Nemesis12 says:

    07:05pm | 06/09/12

    Perhaps she is, but that isn’t YOU suffering there, is it? I am a husband and carer and believe me I suffer, every single day. I suffer watchuing her and knowing I am helpless to stop the disease which is slowly destroying her life. I suffer as I work and… Read more »

  • Luigi says:

    06:56pm | 06/09/12

    I reckon it is the reasonably well off who are squealing about programs like this.  They see everyone except themselves as bludgers and most of them get middle class welfare.  Gives me the craps.  I see people in Karratha getting gov’t money when they make 200 grand a year, a… Read more »


Oscar Pistorius, the usually smiling South African, has come across as embittered and petty today.

Pistorius probably has a point, but he didn't kneed to make it today

A quick recap. Overnight, the South African “Blade Runner” became the fade runner. Pistorius had won the T44 200m at the last two Paralympics, but was mowed down in the final few metres. He then sharpened a few blades of his own.

The South African, who also competed at the London Olympics, claimed that his conqueror, Brazilian Alan Oliveira had an unfair advantage due to oversized carbon blades which allow a greater stride length.

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  • Little Joe says:

    07:45pm | 03/09/12

    @ iansand Totally agree!!! But how do we determine when prostheses offer advantage?? How do we determine when there is mechanical advantage?? How do we determine competitive advantage where an athlete could have won their race if they were given the same equipment?? The question has been raised with the… Read more »

  • Flutz says:

    07:25pm | 03/09/12

    His prosthetics are NOT an advantage in comparison to an able-bodied athlete, the same as Alan’s prosthetics are not an advantage in comparison to an able-bodied athlete - however Alan’s prosthetics MAY provide him with an advantage over the prosthetics of other double leg amputee athletes Read more »


The Paralympic Games begin in London tomorrow night, without any of the fuss or media fanfare which accompanied the Olympics at the beginning of the month.

Watch out London, Kurt Fearnley's rolling into town. Photo: AP

Disabled athletes are being robbed of the spotlight. Olympic broadcasters Foxtel and Channel Nine are not even showing the Paralympics, leaving the ABC to run a few hours of daily highlights instead.

Our Paralympians must be used to being ignored and undervalued. At the televised Olympic swimming trials earlier this year, disabled athletes were forced to compete during the ad breaks. How insulting is that?

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  • adie says:

    04:03pm | 28/08/12

    I played wheelchair basketball for a bit a few years ago.  Im able bodied, but the opportunity came up to have a go, so i did.  The teams were made up of a mixture of people with dodgy knees, people missing limbs, paraplegics, and people with no physical body issues.… Read more »

  • gnome says:

    03:48pm | 28/08/12

    In truth, there are several sensible answers you can give them, just no politically correct ones. Read more »


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