Bermuda’s Paralympian and Parapan Gold Medalist and Record Holder Jessica Lewis has defended her and her fellow Athletes in response to the United States of America President Donald Trump’s recent comments.
Lewis posted on social media, “When reading a comment that was made recently about the Paralympic Games being “tough to watch” by the President of the United States I thought about what I would want to say in response.
To me, the Paralympic Games and movement have given me the opportunity to be proud of who I am. It has taught me the importance of working hard, dreaming big, and being able to push through any type of obstacle that may come up in our lives. The games are about celebrating people’s unique abilities and differences with a population of people who are not always seen for what they are capable of doing.
The amount of hard work that goes into training for the games doesn’t pail in comparison to any able bodied athlete. Having people who are constantly put down because of their limitations pushing through that and being able to represent their countries with pride is something that inspires me everyday. Life is always going to be tough but the Paralympic Games prove to me that it’s all worth the fight.
It’s no secret that the games seem to always be struggling for recognition and the respect that they so rightly deserve. But it is comments like this one that perpetuate this negative stigma surrounding people who are differently abled. It really shows how small minded people can be. When is this hatred going to end? The people in our world all make it an incredibly unique place where our differences should be seen as our biggest strengths.
So what is “tough to watch” for me? It’s people’s inability to treat others with the same kindness, respect and level of acceptance they would treat a good friend.
To the differently abled community stay strong, keep fighting and always believe you are capable and worthy of greatness. We will break down these stigmas.”