For years those who faced the challenges of disability in all its forms dealt with a stigma that was forced on them, that they were somehow less capable of doing amazing and, dare we say it, Superhuman things. Superhuman Day celebrates and brings awareness to the thousands of athletes, musicians, artists, and everyday people who have overcome what was once perceived as a crippling limitation and gone on to prove that “Yes I Can”
History of Superhuman Day
Superhuman Day was the brainchild of the fantastic people at Channel 4 to highlight the incredible athletes at the Summer Paralympic Games. In 2016 Channel 4 took the place of the official broadcaster for the Paralympics for the second time, and immediately decided to start bringing these unsung heroes and champions of the great human achievements into the limelight. It all started with their advertising campaign “We’re The Superhumans”, featuring 140 people with disabilities who are working to change society’s attitudes towards them.
The Paralympics have been running since 1948, though they weren’t called that then. This athletic event was put together to give World War II Veteran Patients with Spinal Injuries a chance to compete, and were called the “1948 International Wheelchair games”. But in 1960 the Paralympics were officially established, and no longer simply open to WWII vets. In that event 400 athletes from 23 countries competed, which quickly grew to 1600 athletes from 40 countries in 1976.
One of the most important events in the Paralympics occurred in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. The Paralympics were held immediately after the Olympic Summer Games, in both the same host city and using the same facilities. In 2001, the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee cemented this practice as tradition, and so it has been ever since.
How to celebrate Superhuman Day
If you have a disabled person in your family, remember to encourage them for their amazing achievements. The human body is capable of some amazing things, and the challenges that those with disabilities overcome just show it all the more. A little research will reveal musicians, archers, craftsman, painters, people from every walk of life who have not let their disabilities hold them back. Superhuman Day is also your reminder to set your calendar to view the Paralympics this coming year, it is a profound display of human achievement and the heights that people can reach when they don’t let their perceived setbacks hold them down.