As the official Paralympics broadcast, Channel 4 and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability hosted an evening reception in celebration of the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Paralympians came together with politicians and Channel 4 to celebrate the fantastic achievements of ParalympicsGB in Rio.
Penny Mordaunt MP, Minister for the Disabled was a special guest speaker and said,
“Thank you for your amazing achievements, the medals and records you brought back
The excitement which had us on the edge of our sofas and the elation at your triumphs which saw us bouncing on them.
The tears, the drama, the screaming at the telly, so many proud “lump in throat” moments as the Union flag was raised time and time again, occasionally in triplicate!!
Thank you for the pride you instilled in our nation.
Thank you for the inspiration you’ve give so many,
And the joy – from disability groups in the suburbs of Rio, to every nation on earth.
Thank you for the interest you’ve sparked in sport and all those who are determined it is capitalised on
Thank you for the positivity
And for the efforts you’ve made to ensure it is infectious
Thank you for the platform you gave to British business and disability entrepreneurs.
Thank you for the time you’ve spent with disability groups
And with my officials, who’ve grilled you on your experiences outside the Paralympic world, in education and employment.
And thank you for giving up another evening to be here today.
Thank you for the reach you’ve enabled, via the wonderful Disability Confident Channel 4
For chance you gave to disabled people to transform broadcasting both in front of and behind the camera.
Thank you for the double take you’ve caused in employers,
And the depth and breath of your commitment to enabling ability,
And for challenging the way things have always been done.
Thank you for the Yes I can campaign and The Last Leg
And for Alex Brooker’s monologue
For your humour, wit and kindness.
Thank you for what you’ve started.
Thank you for those campaigns which have built on that
Will Pikes tongue-in-cheek “yes I can …if” highlighting poor accessibility
And Scope’s “end the awkward”. Please RT and follow them both!
Thank you for the petitions and the conversations.
Thank you for the care you took, to support the team.
For the comradery
For the attention to detail: the 24hr disinfectant scrub down of every inch of the British block in athlete’s village, to keep the team healthy.
For the quality of training, physio, the efforts of medics, the nutritionists.
Thank you parents, carers, friends and family
Thank you to those who lit the flame, and danced and sang at Stoke Mandeville.
And all those who cheered and tweeted and followed.
Thank you for the shot in the arm you’ve been, and the energy you’ve given Ministers, Whitehall civil servants and Parliamentarians, the pause for thought you’ve caused our local government Councillors and their trading standards and planning officers.
For all the reform and change and betterment to come you have contributed to.
Thank you for the ideas and ambitions of how things could be.
Thank you for your physical courage, your mental strength,
For being testament to the power of determination and grit,
For carrying the torch of the Paralympic movement.
Thank you for showing us the irrefutable requirement that every human being reach their full potential.
And the possibility for mankind if they did.
Thank you for all of that
And, on a very personal note for this polo shirt. I may never take it off.”