The most startling development coming from the Rio Olympics
Like so many of us, I’ve been saddened by news coming from Brazil lately. Even the upcoming Rio Olympic and Paralympic games have brought troubling sidebars, from hospitals unable to take any incoming patients to the government (of a nation that supposedly wants to shed its image as a “sex tourism” destination) handing out Amazon rainforest-rubber condoms to seemingly everyone in sight.
Yet after a week of awful images and stories rushing at us like a flood elsewhere both domestically and internationally, my day was brightened almost immeasurably yesterday by this trailer for the Rio 2016 Paralympics, courtesy of the United Kingdom’s Channel 4, called “We are the superhumans”:
There is a veritable spectrum of precious people shown living with disabilities including paraplegia, amputated limbs, blindness, Down syndrome, deafness, and other birth defects, and through practice, determination, dreams, blessings, and yes, “love,” they’re showcased in the grandest of fashions.
In addition, there are also subtle messages which are metaphoric (note the singer breaking through a glass wall) to instructional (in the brief but perhaps most compelling scene, the young man in a wheelchair is being discouraged not by some mean old conservative would-be boss, but by one who is ostensibly an educator) to cultural (the Brazilian athlete participating in perhaps the most daredevil event of all is shown quietly brushing his teeth, something many of his countrymen do throughout the day). And in this two-plus-minute video, there is a celebration of human life greater than any utopian fantasy that the best of modern Hollywood directors could produce.
I don’t know the politics of those involved here, but given the state of Western culture today, I’d be surprised if a majority of them were conservative evangelicals. Nonetheless, I almost cried upon the end of the trailer, so happy for a video celebrating those made in God’s image whose very existence has been and would be derided by too many in power historically and presently. When I posted this on social media, one of my aunts responded: “This should be mandatory viewing for all human beings.” Honestly, I concur. Watch it all the way through. Odds are high it will end up being two minutes of your life that you’ll be happy to have just spent.
(By the way, in today’s modern social media culture, it’s wonderful to get instantaneous “behind-the-scenes” stories such as the fact that most of the musicians involved in this advertisement came from Can-do Musos. YouTube has extra videos on those participating as well.)
Kurt Wayne is founder of Pornografia destroi, a ministry devoted to fighting pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking in Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking world. He also is a caregiver for his disabled daughter, Victoria.