Guest Blog: Matt Whorwood – A post-Paralympic reverie
London 2012 Paralympic Games. What an experience!
I have recently returned from the finest sporting event I have had the pleasure to be involved with. Being in Beijing four years previously set a good benchmark, but I can say hand on heart that London was an amazing three weeks.
Time and time again, athletes across the Olympic and Paralympic Games spoke of the crowds and the atmosphere. I join them in expressing simply how great these were and add that no words can describe the pure joy and emotion which the sporting venues created for us all, but especially for a home athlete. Having a roaring cheer as you walk to your starting position – louder and more powerful than any I had ever experienced before. Far louder than any non-GB competition!
And then there it was, 400m of destiny set before me. All I had to do was what I had trained so long for and worked so hard towards. The sounder went and my 400m freestyle final – my main event – had begun. It was a great race with a few position changes as things developed, competitors moving up and down through the positions and then came the finish. I finished third.
Pride: ‘A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.’
Pure and utter pride is what I felt at that point. Deep pleasure and satisfaction that I had done it, I was going to be on the podium at the London 2012 Games. My friends, family, coach and team staff – without them I would have achieved nothing and I was proud of them. Proud of everything they had done for me, everything that had been sacrificed for my success.
And again there was the crowd, the second greatest feeling coming over me in that moment. The qualities that crowd possessed when a home athlete had just finished a race were indescribable. Moments like that are those in which it takes no more convincing for the rest of your life why we are called GREAT Britain.
Paralympian Matt Whorwood, who has a condition called Achondroplasia, which is a type of dwarfism, is sponsored by rental firm Adapted Vehicle Hire. Due to Matt’s disability, he relies on a specialist adapted car to get him to training and university. Read more about him here.