Welcome to our November Newsletter,
As we rapidly approach the end of 2021, I’m already tempted to look back over the year that’s been. While we’ve been extremely lucky to continue working steadily through the lockdowns throughout various parts of Australia, we’ve also had our eyes set on things further afield, both in terms of location and future planning.
An ex-Paralympian myself, the Paralympics never cease to amaze, thrill and delight me (for example, check out this video of Egyptian table tennis star, Ibrahim Hamadtou, who has no arms and plays the game with immense skill and prowess using his mouth). Throughout August and September, 179 Australians competed in the Tokyo Paralympics. We finished with 21 Gold , 30 silver and 30 bronze to finish 8th on the medal tally. The entire team executed amazing performances, heartbreaking finishes, and overcame adversity to compete in a lockdown city still enduring another wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
I was fortunate enough to be asked onboard as a commentator for the Wheelchair Basketball events by Channel 7 alongside Matt Hill (one of the world’s most eminent race callers), Jason Bennett (AFL and ESPN commentator) and Darren Boyd (Olympics commentator). This was an amazing experience and one I will remember fondly forever. For myself, the sheer thrill of sitting each day in a sound booth at the Docklands looking over the stats, team sheets and player backgrounds took me right back to my Paralympian days. In the back of my mind, I was hoping we could replicate what I was lucky enough to experience in Atlanta 1996 – Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball GOLD! At the same time, I was invited to be part of the ABC’s Offsiders program, hosted by the Kellie Underwood, to present up-to-date results of the Paralympics. Both of these broadcasting and commentating experience were unique and fun in different ways and allowed me a special insider glance into the Games.
There were also a few additional challenges for some of our Paralympians to overcome. Unfortunately for the Aussie Rollers, a COVID scare meant they had to isolate from the rest of the whole Australian team, with meals and treatments bought to them, and no opening or closing ceremonies. They also missed out on opportunities to see the sights of the city, the international village, and nights out after competition. Instead, the team was shuttled back to Australia for two weeks of quarantine in a hotel quarantine and no street parades. The sacrifices made by the team to represent their country with such grace and strength make their achievement even more special.
In other Olympics-based news, I was also very lucky to play a small part in the bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid for Brisbane – which we won. Now the hard work starts to create or enhance the infrastructure and venue development. The legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympics are still evident within the city, both in construction and culture. I will never forget the day I overheard a young boy ask his Mum what sport I played, rather than what was wrong with me. Brisbane now has the chance to experience this same seismic shift in the perception of athleticism, something that I personally can’t find extremely exciting and heartwarming.
Lastly, David and I want to thank all our staff, clients and business networks on continuing to work in a state of lockdown. It’s challenges such as these that make us become more flexible, adaptable and resilient. We look forward to the new normal, whatever may look like!
Nick Morris (Director) and David Goding (Director)