Sep
22
Paralympian Ade Adepitan on Life as an Athlete and Polio Survivor


My name is Ade Adepitan. I was born in
Lagos Nigeria. At 15 months I contracted polio. The moment that really captured my
imagination for sport was back in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. I watched it at
home from a black-and-white TV in my mum’s house and start pumping my arms
imagining that I was running 100 meters. Picturing myself there with the crowd
around me and everyone cheering for me. By the time we got to the 10,000 meters I
was absolutely knackered. I so wanted to be part of this enormous global event. My parents their hope for me was to become, as they say in Nigeria, I want you to take up a profession I want you to be a doctor, I want you to be a lawyer I want you to be an accountant. And I said nah mom I want
to become a wheelchair basketball player. The greatest day of my life it was
getting a letter through the post saying congratulations, you’ve been selected
for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. It was just mind-blowing. I went back to
Nigeria to see what my life would have been like if my parents hadn’t brought
me to the UK. It’s hard even to articulate how important and how amazing a job that those vaccinators are doing. We’re really close to eradicating
polio. it’s that close. I want to be there on the day that the UN General Secretary says we have finally got rid polio. You guys can be part of that
and could be responsible for that. It could be the greatest day of the
human race so far. you