The Channel 4 adverts for the Paralympics are brilliant. They have also been showing little vignettes about the sport called Meet the Paralympians, which are excellent. You can catch these on YouTube. But also I must to say that Eddie Marsan (who I thought was OK, but not that good), is superb as Dr Ludwig Guttman in The Best of Men... As is Rob Brydon. Someone implied elsewhere that my reaction to these guys and girls was that of pity; there may be some of that, but there is infinitely more admiration, the feeling you get when you see human beings overcome disadvantage to succeed and also that in every essential way they are people we need to emulate, who inspire me, at least. What they do affirms all of us in our humanity.
But you have to be my age to realise just how the public's attitude to disability or deformity has come. We aren't there yet, us theoretically normal people, but we are a lot further than in the 1950s when we would be told not to touch or be near anyone with a disability. "They ought to be locked up" and that from a sensible, otherwise pleasant middle-aged working class Mum. At the back of the comment was a kind of shibboleth, a superstition that if her children touched the afflicted one, then they would somehow become infected. I am happy that that is no longer as bad.
In France, though, with hunchbacks it is different. A friend of mine loved going to France as all the pretty girls wanted to touch his back for luck. This please him no end, but not so much his wife!