‘Disabilities are cool. They add to our story and make us unique.’ (Anna Grimaldi – Paralympic gold medallist). Our Normal is a series of intimate and honest conversations with some of New Zealand’s most talented Paralympians. The athletes tell us about the books, food, music, people, places and taonga they love. They share the challenges they face living with disabilities, and the ways disabilities enrich their lives. And they talk about the assumptions and negative stereotypes people sometimes attach to disability and offer valuable advice and suggestions. Our Normal also features a history of the Paralympics including profiles of Māori and Pasifika Paralympic pioneers.
Some say that wealth, popularity and fame equal success. Others say the unconditional love of family and friends is the only kind of success they need.
In Standing In My Own Shoes, 21 Kiwi Olympians and Paralympians have written letters to young people, sharing what they learned about ‘success’ from their experiences in Tokyo. Some of the athletes have recorded themselves speaking the letters too.
There are letters from athletes like Lisa Carrington, Hamish Bond and Lydia Ko.
Each letter has been illustrated by a well-known Kiwi illustrator. Some of the artists involved are Gavin Bishop, Ruth Paul and Ant Sang.
Yvette Williams represented New Zealand in the discus, hurdles, javelin, shot put and basketball. Some people think she’s the best Kiwi athlete ever. But Yvette is most famous for a 6.24 meter long jump she made in 1952. That’s when she became the first Kiwi woman to win an Olympic gold medal. How did she do it? By aiming high and working hard that’s how. Come on, let’s find out more about Yvette Williams’ leap into history!