Yes I can!

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games start this week and in the run up I’m getting back in the mood by watching the amazing 3-minute trailer brought out by Channel 4 to promote the Games.

It’s brilliantly edited, the theme tune is incredibly catchy, it’s witty and it puts a real positive spin on disability and shows us mere mortals, who can’t even run for a train without nearly dying (yes that’s me), the amazing things that humans can achieve.

Watch the trailer below:

There’s a lot of behind the scenes footage to be seen as well, with interviews and insight into the people involved in making the trailer and if that’s not enough to get you in the Paralympics mood, you can also rewatch episodes from The Superhuman Show which was broadcast earlier this year.

But does all this positive hype have a negative side too? Some have referred to it as ‘Inspiration Porn’. After reading this article in The Guardian by Lucy Catchpole I can see that point of view but I don’t agree with it. I find the #YesICan and #Superhumans campaigns incredibly inspirational but not because the athletes involved have disabilities. In my opinion all athletes are superhumans. I’m inspired when I watch anyone doing something that I can’t do and I find Lucy’s article quite negative.

I don’t have a disability, but I’ve had to overcome a lot of hardship in my life and the there’s no such thing as can’t mantra has played a significant role. I even created my own when I was studying for a degree – First is everything, Second is nothing – I had it plastered on my door and would recite it everytime I left my flat to go to college. I worked hard to reach that goal and was rewarded with a 1st Class degree for my effort. So I have no issue with Channel 4 using the same mantra in promoting the Rio Paralympic Games.

London 2012 Paralympian Sam Ruddock agrees that the advert has a powerful message. “There are all sorts of wonderful things in there to make you reassess what you can achieve with what you have … it’s about a positive attitude.”

The Channel 4 campaign is brilliant. It’s about working hard to overcome obstacles, to reach your goals and get that sense of achievement at the end of the process. If you don’t succeed try harder next time. Lucy writes in her article, “I’m willing to bet that almost every person featured in that film comes across things they simply can’t do on a daily basis.”

Don’t we all?

What are you thoughts?

Leave a Reply