The 2012 Olympic Games are over and, as usual, did not disappoint. Now, after descending from our collective athletic honeymoon on Mount Olympus (London), the Paralympics, which start this week, would like us to return to the mount.
Show up to work on Wednesday in your nation's colors, and if you get funny looks, point confused onlookers to British Channel 4’s breakthrough “Meet the Superhumans” campaign, which will surely get them fired up.
Aided by the campaign, the Paralympics committee is expecting a sold-out crowd - a record number of roughly 2.8 million spectators. This is especially impressive given that the games offer 21 sports as compared with the Olympics’ 38.
What makes “Superhumans” so powerful is its ability to transform our thinking around not only adaptive sports, but also adversity. While the Paralympics once jockeyed for our attention by offering yet another athletic pursuit amidst the scores of games we already watch, the “Superhumans” approach offers something fresh and, arguably, far more exciting.
Superhumans shows us that paralymipans take their sport to a new and exciting level: we witness stories of greatness not despite, but as a result of intense disadvantage. Ultimately, “Superhumans” connects the notions of struggle with accomplishment – an insight particularly relevant given the ongoing problems across the macroeconomy. People around the world are being forced to make the best of their circumstances.
The struggles of paralympians put our issues into perspective, and help us transform our problems into opportunities to, frankly, be badass. We become enthralled by the journey of an individual, rather than blindly follow a countryman we barely relate to.
In contrast, the Olympians of yesterweek seem, well… just plain human. Watching the superhumans makes greatness feel within reach and gives hope and confidence to a generation, while providing an anthem of tenacity to the disadvantaged.
Dan Spiegel is a Senior Consultant and Asher Fink is a Consultant for Interbrand.