Stephanie Wheeler, a wheelchair basketball player on the U.S. women's team, has been sending e-mail dispatches. In her latest, she writes:
"I hope that the Paralympics will prove to be much more than an
arena where medals are won and competitions are held. I hope that this helps to begin to change the face, perceptions, and social identity of people with disabilities in China and all over the world for that matter. Being a part of the Paralympic movement is such an honor and a responsibility that myself and my teammates don't take lightly. Yeah, we are here to compete and win a gold medal, but we are also trying to open the eyes of those who don't believe people with disabilities can live fulfilling lives."
The U.S. team will start going for the gold Sept. 8 with its opener against Germany, also a top-ranked team.