From Athens to Beijing

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From Athens to Beijing

I photographed the training and the participation of the Greek athletes with disabilities at the Beijing Paralympic Games 2008, a project that resulted to a book in January 2009. Photographing these althletes was for me a unique opportunity to observe and experience the resilience of the human spirit and the passion of the human heart. Sport is more than simply who wins and who loses. It is about our deeper need to overcome what threatens to define us.

Moreover sports with athletes with disabilities are a high standard spectacle with many excitements that engage you to watch it. During this project I saw blind athletes playing soccer,  basketball in wheel chairs, athletes with severe injuries at their legs practicing powerlifting, I saw people with prosthetic legs and blind people running in athletics almost in the same time that normal athletes do. Cheri Blauwest (USA Athletics) says that “sport is a way of showing that disability isn't really a disability, it is just a different way of living. If we are given the opportunity to enhance our own talents, anything is possible”. Pam Fernandes (Cycling Canada) argues that “if we could somehow bring the respect, dignity and camaraderie of the Paralympic Village to the rest of the world we would learn a lifetime of lessons in a single day. The Paralympics is more than a two week sporting event. It is a mind set, an attitude and a way of life”. This project ended up in a book in December 2008 with the title ‘from Athens to Beijing’ in collaboration with the Hellenic Paralympic Committee.