The 2010 Paralympic Games begin officially this Friday March 12th. Starting immediately there is a lot going on – more than enough to interest the sports fan, party enthusiast or arts connoisseur! The combination of events will banish once and for all, any misconceptions about the talents and contributions of people with disabilities.
Don't forget Ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling will be contested in Vancouver while the skiing events will take place at Whistler. Here is my personal guide to make the most of what will be another fabulous two weeks in Vancouver and Whistler.
First be sure to bookmark the folks at CityCaucus.com They had the most popular guide during the Olympics and thanks to Daniel Fontaine they intend to do the same during the Paralympic Games. Discover the most popular pavilions, where the free venues are and best bets for the sporting events, all in one place. http://citycaucus.com/paralympics
Tourism Vancouver is also worth a look: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/
My Games begin this Tuesday March 9th when I keynote a conference on Accessibility and Inclusion. This is a Government of Canada event and alas, it is already full. I will summarize my presentation which is focused on the creativity of families, in a subsequent blog.
The next day, Wednesday March 10th, Shannon Bromley, Daniel Noon-Ward, Vicki Mooney and me will each carry the torch on behalf of PLAN, RBC and our personal source of inspiration. Come cheer us on from 10:30 – 12:30 – Riley Park Community Centre, 50 East 30th. Up to date details at www.plan.ca
On Thursday evening March 11th, I'm attending opening night of SPINE another 'tour de force' from the talented James Saunders who starred in the ground breaking Sky Dive. It continues until March 20th. www.realwheels.ca
Friday March 12th is the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies where athletes from 45 countries will be entertained by world class talent from all over the world – there are lots of surprises planned!. Still lots of inexpensive tickets left: vancouver2010.com/tickets
While you are enjoying the sporting events don't forget the accompanying Cultural Olympiad and the 2010 KickstArt Festival for artists, musicians, comedians, dancers and other performers. Two I am particularly interested in are: One, Bill Shannon the 'CrutchMaster' who is reinventing the world of hip hop dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zjfpdRlbbA and two, the Exhibit: Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember. The creativity and resilience of Canadians with disabilities will inspire you as much as any gold medal performance. Unleashing the extraordinary indeed. Full program at: www.kickstart-arts.ca
The piece de resistance will be the Cultural Olympiad Gala, hosted by legendary storyteller and comedian David Roche. www.davidroche.com It takes place on March 21st and there may still be a few tickets left. Bill Shannon is one of the featured performers! www.vidf.ca 604- 662-4966
Oh yes don't forget the sledge hockey game March 20th. Let's see if we can make it 3 for 3.
Hope to see you at some or all of these events. The disability community has been working hard to 'leverage' these
Games to advance the agenda for all people with disabilities. Come see what they've created. You won't regret it.