Lee Pearson was awarded an OBE. That is very cool.
I bought the paper in the market today when I saw the headlines, and several people were commenting on how wonderful they thought it was. Phil and I got into a discussion afterwards, about how deserving a athlete or actor or whoever is. His comment was that they were being rewarded for what they were being paid to do in the first place. I strongly disagree. The reason that I find Lee’s story to be so encouraging, and why a lot of people see him as a role model, is that he has excelled against enormous odds. He has won against able-bodied competitors in the British Dressage National Championships at Elementary level, which is an amazing accomplishment. All of us, if we have the heart and courage and will to win that he has, can do the same in our own lives.
From an article in the Telegraph:
Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita “the muscles in my arms and legs grew as scar tissue in the womb” which left his matchstick limbs bent and warped, the baby in the cupboard has grown into one of the nation’s most successful sportsmen. Wearing plastic splints running from his backside to his heels, Pearson has won six Paralympic Games dressage gold medals (three apiece from Athens and Sydney), five World Championship and three European titles, plus a notable victory in an able-bodied national championship event at Hickstead. “That meant a lot to me, as did being voted BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year, because it’s nice to take on and beat athletes without disabilities.”
I just thought this was appropriate for New Year’s Eve. We should all aspire to something…everyone can achieve their dreams. You may need to register to read the article, but it’s worth doing; it was a very candid and touching interview.
“I may daydream occasionally that I’ve got a gorgeous, muscled body, but I don’t have a choice about my disability just as I don’t have a choice about being gay. I love who I am and certainly don’t have a problem about being gay.”