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Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Saturday, 1 September 2012 09:42 UK

Paralympics: A question of 'bravery'?

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When it comes to the Paralympics we are amazed by so much of what we see - and often by the "back stories" as well: the people who were told they would never achieve much, or who were achieving plenty but had their bodies shattered by bomb or bullet. And yet we are dimly aware as well that too much sympathy morphs into an attitude of patronising pity that is precisely not what these people are competing for.

Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4's director of Creative Diversity told the Today programme presenter, Justine Webb that " the media in general creates emotional narratives. They want to tell stories to give their audience a fuller experience." He added, "Everyone has back stories and it would seem odd not to mention."

Ian Macrae, editor of Disability Now magazine said, "No one regards any of the Olympian athletes as "brave" for doing what they do and the motivation for the Olympic athletes is exactly the same. It's not a question of bravery". He added, "What complicates matters is that many of these athletes do have back stories which leads people to consider them 'brave'."


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