Liam Farrell: The Paralympic spirit is not given to us all

I thought it would be impossible to follow the Olympics, but the Paralympics were a fantastic success, two weeks of titanic athletic endeavour and white-hot competition, a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit.

As Emily the Gamesmaker said: 'Lifting the cloud of limitation.' London was again a magnificent and generous host and I hope the result is an enduring legacy.

Absolutely bouncing with enthusiasm about it all, I met Patsy in the street yesterday. Patsy has cerebral palsy, with spasticity and ataxia, but he is ambulant and unfailingly cheerful, and I could see a potential gold medal shining before my eyes.

'Patsy,' I said, so keen I started to babble. 'Did you see some of that sport in London, wasn't it incredible? We should try to build on that, open up more opportunities for our disabled athletes, give them something they can aim at, give them the encouragement they need.

'The local Gaelic football club have training facilities and they'd be happy to help out; we could organise transport to the swimming pool and get a training programme going. And there are all sorts of different sports, suitable for everyone; you'd be brilliant, all your family are good footballers. We could get lottery support, I've had some preliminary thoughts about preparing a submission, and we'll get a fundraising campaign going, get the community behind us.

'Michael McKillop, you know, he won dual gold medals at 800 and 1,500m, and was named the male athlete who best exemplified the spirit of the Paralympics in London. He's from Ballymena, not too far away, I'm sure he'd come down and help us get going, he'd be an inspiration, a great role model, we'd get plenty of volunteers.

'I'm thinking Rio 2016. What a trip that would be, imagine the colour, the excitement, Copacabana beach, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, all the exotic colours, the hypnotic throb of the samba beat, not as many kidnappings or muggings as there used to be, it would be the trip of a lifetime, what about it?'

Patsy looked at me pityingly, then took out a cigarette and lit it slowly and thoughtfully.

'Nope,' he said, disappearing into the bookies. 'Wouldn't be for me, doc.'

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