Shuffling on the sweep away, not to be seen again for another four years, and even then ever so briefly, the parathletes of the 2004 Paralympics held in Athens, Greece farewelled the remnants of a crowd still seated and still glazed over their doughnuts, fearful of a painful encounter with a hard surface.
Over the eleven days of the 12th Paralympic games, competition was hard fought to raise any kind of awareness back home. Advertisements and backhanded glares remarkably upbeat in the absent face of displayed sport beyond much delayed coverage provided ably by SBS.
Romping on home with more than a limp effort, the Australians placed fifth in the gold medal haul with a total of 100 medals to see them swaying in with second in the collection plate.
Drowned out by the politicking driven rampant throughout this election time, the parathletes will return home on Friday to be greeted by an audience who for the most part never even knew they left.
The race will be heated for the first political party to start the kissing, the rubbing and the well oiled pumping. On the achievements of this group of athletes their sporting shine may be licked hearty like the magic frogs and toads some see them to be.
Written on Thursday, 30 September 2004