This is NOT a Freak Show
The unique aspect of the swimming is that, whereas with all other Olympic sports, the athletes appear to compete together with their mechanical and cosmetic aids such as those running blades, wheelchairs, you name it; in swimming they appear, then divest themselves of all those things that help them cope on land.
So they line up, the shriveled, the lame, the amputees - not that long ago that would only have happened in a freak show. Disability was something to hide away, something families were ashamed about. But here they are, Olympic athletes whose dedication is second to none ready to compete in front of us. This takes the phrase "differently able", wrenches it from the hands of the politically correct and shows us all what it truly means.
Spasticus Autisticus, the shout from thirty years back, echoes down the years; sung in the opening ceremony (on C4 here, starts at 8 mins in, an excellent piece on the song here and a warning here)
Tomorrow I will share my favourite image from the games on the same theme.