In digging through my old diaries, I discovered a poem I wrote during the Sydney Olympics.  It was scribbled on the back of a diary and for some reason I had never transferred it into my poetry book.  However, reading it again now whilst watching the 2016 Olympics on television, I got inspired all over again and dedicate this poem to all the athletes (especially the Paralympians) around the world who have gone out there to do their personal best and in the process inspired people to do better in their own lives. I say thank you!

Back in 2000, I boycotted attending the ‘normal’ Olympics and saved my money for tickets to attend various sport events at the Paralympics. I’m so glad to see that mainstream media are covering the Paralympics these days which I think is so important. A wheelchair basketball or rugby game is way more entertaining if you ask me! In 2000, I saw many varied adaptive sports that broadened my mind and gave me a whole new appreciation for all the possibilities still available to me.  I had given a few things a go at least once but I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a super sporty person.  I do, however, like the adrenalin rush from activities such as parasailing, jet boat riding and skiing.

a lady in the air parasailing with a purple and yellow parachute

(Photo: Me parasailing, February 1997, Cairns Australia)

(Photo: Me parasailing, February 1997, Cairns Australia)
ydney had the best atmosphere in those Olympic weeks in 2000, as well as the best weather ever experienced for August/September. Darling Harbour and the city in general was buzzing with positive vibes… I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have that vibe every day in Sydney. If everyone was feeling and acting positive regardless of their circumstance, wouldn’t life be a dream and much more pleasant for everyone?

A lady and a man behind her on an accessible kyak (designed with two kyaks and the seat between them for extra stability) rowing on the harbour with Sydney skyline in the background

(Photo: Me and Craig rowing on the harbour from Glebe, 1990, Sydney, Australia)


They know the heartache, they know the pain

They also know what it is to gain

To feel the thrill, it drives them on

To keep on going on and on


They push themselves to every limit

Their mind controls, their heart is in it

It is the passion that gives them strength

It is the courage, to any length


They focus in onto the target

The goal is set, it’s time to mark it

The hours and hours of heavy training

It all comes down to precision timing


To be the best that you can be

It’s what these athletes esteem in me

To have the strength and integrity

To change people’s lives for eternity


It isn’t just about the skill

It’s also the unending will

To fight the battle every day

No matter what comes your way


lizzy hodgins