Less than 100 days to the Paralympics in Paris!

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Categories: Uncategorized

As of May 20, there were 100 days left to go to the Paralympics! and the time is ticking by so quickly.

I’m extremely excited, because I’m actually going to the Paralympics in Paris in the hope of watching my client, Chris Hunt Skelley MBE PLY, representing his country yet again. In faith that he will qualify to compete, my husband and I have booked tickets to his event and we’re planning our accommodation as we speak. 

Sometimes in life and in business we have to commit and invest in the ‘hope’ of something because if we ‘wait and see’ the opportunity passes us by – we are simply too late to the party. In this case, if we don’t commit now we may not be able to get tickets to attend the competition even though we don’t yet know if Chris will be going. 

Chris, who has ocular albinism, is a Judoka Champion, and won a gold medal in Tokyo 2020.

This year, Chris has also been named as one of five Paralympic ambassadors for ‘Path to Paris’ initiative to encourage children (aged 5 to 11), to get active by following in their sporting heroes’ footsteps.

It is a virtual challenge, where the children can embark on a virtual journey around the world, complete fun activities as they explore different places on their way to the Paris Games. Each physical activity will be logged, earning kilometre power to get the virtual team bus to its final destination. All sorts of activities count; jumping on the trampoline, playing wheelchair basketball, attending a weekly judo club or dancing around the living room – everyone can get involved.  Chris loves the fact that he can inspire youngsters to get active and feel good about themselves.

Chris’ wife Louise Hunt Skelley PLY, a former Paralympian and former wheelchair tennis player will also be at the Paralympics. She’s part of the commentary team based at Roland Garros where the wheelchair tennis tournament will take place. The irony of course is that she’ll be in Paris but not with Chris! 

This year’s Paralympics is the 17th  starting on Wednesday August 28th, with 4,400 outstanding Paralympics from all over the world taking part. It will be the biggest sporting event ever organised in France, and their first ever Summer Paralympic Games.

The programme in France will include 22 sports and 549 events. The 22 sports cover a huge range of disciplines including: 

archery, badminton; boccia; equestrian; football 5-a-side; goalball; judo;  athletics; powerlifting; swimming; rowing; shooting; sitting volleyball; table tennis; taekwondo: triathlon; wheelchair basketball; wheelchair fencing; wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

My husband, Steve and I are taking our caravan and staying in a site about an hour or so outside Paris – the one which usually provides a base for visitors to go to Euro Disney. We aim to drive to the local train station, get a train and head into the stadium which is near the Eiffel Tower.

This isn’t our first such event – we actually went to the Olympics 2012 in London, where we saw the rowing, and also in the Olympic stadium, we saw Usain Bolt win the 200m final which was an incredible event to witness, plus the fact that Jamaica amazingly finished, 1, 2 and 3!

This will be the first event – and probably our only opportunity – to support someone we know well and work with and I suspect, if Chris qualifies, it will feel so very personal. We’re both looking forward to the whole event, and Steve already has his Paralympic t-shirt and mascots, which he’ll be proudly wearing and waving. Indeed we are going to ensure that everyone is in no doubt who we will be supporting! 

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