Active Ambassador Nathan Tree: What the Tokyo Paralympics mean to me

Active Ambassador Nathan Tree: What the Tokyo Paralympics mean to me

Posted: Mon, 23 Aug 2021 12:03

Active Ambassador Nathan Tree: What the Tokyo Paralympics mean to me

Active Ambassador Nathan Tree: What the Tokyo Paralympics mean to me

We're delighted to share this fantastic, inspirational blog from Active Ambassador Nathan Tree on why the Tokyo Paralympics games are so vitally important:

The 24th August 2021 marks the start of the biggest spectacle in the parasport calendar, the Tokyo Paralympic games. This event brings together athletes from all over the world to compete in their chosen sport and to show the world how capable and talented people with a disability really are.

As a severely sight impaired athlete, I know this fact every day as I work hard to be the best I can. However it is rare that people with disabilities get to prove this on the world stage, and personally, I find it incredibly motivating. Having grown up less than 20 miles from the birthplace of the games at Stoke Mandeville, I feel like the games have a somewhat local feel that we can all be proud of.

My personal journey

My own sporting journey has seen me quitting playing ice and roller hockey due to severe vision loss, to training and competing in triathlons, to competing in blind ice hockey and rediscovering a passion for a sport that I thought I had lost forever. It has been a hard mental and physical struggle that I have had to work hard to recover from and I know a lot of these athletes have overcome this to become the world-class professionals they are today.

Disability often presents challenges to people on a daily basis and we have to become experts at adapting. The athletes you will see in the games are most definitely experts at adapting and have done so in sport and managed to become very high level performers. I have such respect for them and know how hard they have worked to get to the games, despite the fact that the pandemic has strained their ability to train.

Of all the amazing paralympic athletes representing Team GB this year, I am most looking forward to seeing Libby Clegg running in the 200m T11, our wheelchair basketball team and our triathletes. Every discipline competed in during the games requires such dedication, talent and enthusiasm that I know the whole country will be behind our athletes no matter where they finish. They are all fantastic!

Hopes for the future

As far as my sporting journey goes, I have hopes for blind ice hockey being a winter Paralympic sport and hope that I can push for GB to have a team through Blind Ice Hockey UK. If any readers can help me to achieve my dream or want to join me on the ice, please get in touch.

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Tags: Active, Active Ambassador, Active Lives