Im Sommer 2012 finden in London die Olympischen und paralympischen Spiele statt. In der Stadt läuft der Countdown. Das Foreign Office, also das britische Außenministerium hat aus diesem Anlass gerade einen Image-Film mit Tanni Grey-Thompson produziert, der derzeit auf den Webseiten der britischen Botschaften zu sehen ist. Darin berichtet die rollstuhlfahrende Sportlerin über das Vereinigte Königreich und wie sich die Einstellung zu behinderten Menschen verändert hat – und natürlich über ihren Sport.
Anmerkung: Da der automatisch generierte Untertitel von YouTube offensichtlich kein britisches Englisch mag und völlig unverständlich ist, habe ich den Text transkribiert (unter dem Video) und das Außenministerium gebeten, ihn ins Video einzubinden.
Text des Videos:
Britain is a pretty good place to be if you are a disabled person in terms of sport where the envy of the world in terms of our support structures, our media coverage, the games that we’re going to be hosting, we’re using as a platform to show the world what we can achieve.
And actually, you know, in the outside world, away from sport, it’s still one of the best countries to be in. Racing is amazing because it’s speed, it’s fair, if you are on a road race you can be going downhill at 50mph, 2ft from the ground. And your breaks don’t really work. It’s exhaustion, it’s elation, so many different things all wrapped up together. And if you’re competing on the track that can happen in 20 seconds. It’s the most amazing thing. But the outside world is so different from that.
My family was so supportive of me during the thing I wanted to do. And they brought me up to believe if somebody had an issue with my impairment it was their problem not mine.
When I was young, literally I couldn’t go out because there weren’t accessible toilets.
Cinemas didn’t allow disabled people in on their own without adults with them. And you look back now and it’s actually quite scary: That was only 30, 35 years ago. And at the time when disability was thought about very differently, they encouraged me to explore and to leave home and to travel, believing that the world would have to change, that it wasn’t me. There was nothing wrong – me being in a wheelchair.
I never set out to try to change the world. I set out to become the best athlete I possibly could. Realisation that I can actually become Number 1 in the world I think took quite a long time to come to me because it was always looking at steps, it was about improve my world ranking, it was making about the next games. When I got older it was when I recognised I had certain strength and been able to trying encourage people to change their attitudes towards disability.
Britain has so much to be proud of in terms of its understanding disabled people. But also in terms of putting disability sport on the map, because it was in Britain that the Paralympic Games began. And sport has really led the way – underpinned by an awful lot of disabled people who’ve helped make it happen. It’s led the way in terms of showing what’s an inclusive world can look on.
The opportunity to host the Olympics and Paralympics in London was one that anybody involved in sport wanted to be part of, because it was about showing the world how good we are organising things. We’re are passionate about sport. We’re passionate about doing things properly, about building lovely venues. But it’s not just that. It’s about how we change the City of London, how we change the rest of the UK.
London – in fact any old city – is huge challenge to adapt and to modernise because there is this sort of amalgamation of different historical and architectural designs. And we have a lot of rules what you can adapt and how you can adapt it. That can be really difficult.
But there has been kind of stat changes either through acts of parliament or just people’s understanding that have made people’s lives easier.
I think if you ask people from outside Britain what we’re like as a nation there might be a thought that we’re resistant to change. But acutually as a country I think we are very dynamic, we are very forward thinking, we are very inclusive, we try to make decisions that are the best for the most number of people. And that’s actually a very exciting country to be part of because we have this huge amount of history and culture. But actually we’re all looking forward to see what we can do in the future to make life better for everybody.