'The Olympics is where heroes are created. The Paralympics is where the heroes come,' says Xavi Gonzalez, former CEO of the International Paralympic Committee, opening the 2020 documentary Rising Phoenix.
Spanning the beginnings of the Paralympics movement through the stories of nine Paralympic athletes. As a viewer, it's a 90-minute journey through the power of human resilience, epic displays of gifted sporting talent and the fight to make the Paralympics the global event we know it as today.
From battling childhood illnesses and accidents to escaping civil war, the sheer range of experience reflects the number of different paths Paralympic athletes take to compete.
'I want as many people in the world to see the Paralympics as possible because if my parents had known about the Paralympics back when I was three years old, they would've had so much more hope in what people with disabilities can do,' says six-time Paralympic gold medalist Australian swimmer Ellie Cole, reflecting on her journey from tumour discovery to cancer diagnosis and eventual limb amputation.
For Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock, it was the London 2012 Paralympic Games that changed the script for his career: 'In 2011, any interview I did, pretty much the first question was, "How did you lose your leg?". In the months leading up to London and constantly after London, it was all about the sport, and that was incredible for me to see.'
Rising Phoenix is a look inside the world of diversity, fortitude and excellence of the people who make the Paralympic Games the astounding display of brilliance it is. A must watch as we suit up for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Rising Phoenix is available to stream via Netflix UK. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games take place 24 August 2021 – 5 September 2021. Watch on Channel 4.
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