I'm Jessica-Jane Applegate, I'm 20 years old and I'm an elite swimmer. I've competed in competitions all over the world, I've set over 75 new British Swimming records and I've won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in London 2012 and Rio 2016 and in 2013 was given an MBE. I also have a learning disability.
Dear Louis - My heart sank when the video appeared online over the weekend. As a proud Brit, as a Muslim, as a parent and as the Mum of a son who is an Elite Level-5 gymnast representing his region next month in the national finals, my heart really did sink. I had to discuss it with him; I wish I hadn't needed to.
Brazil as a tourist destination, previously known predominantly for its beautiful beaches, diverse culture, gastronomy and natural resources, has also become a benchmark for having world potential in other segments, such as sports, events and business. And, as befits this moment, we want to be given due respect for who we are today as a country, with attention paid to the path we are following.
The Paralympic Games illustrate that when a disabled person has the right support, is valued and, importantly, listened to, they can succeed to the best of their abilities. If we put a little of this philosophy, enthusiasm and energy into supporting disabled people every day, not just every four years, all disabled people could feel that they too can achieve and make a valued contribution to society.
With the Olympics, every single sporting event was filmed by the host broadcaster and was available for audiences to watch. With the Paralympics, it has been a completely different story. There are currently no television cameras being used at all to record some sporting events including the rowing. As a result, Channel 4 resorted to sending their own camera crews out to the rowing venue so viewers in the UK could enjoy at least some sort of coverage. When a country can't even commit to providing cameras and live coverage of all sporting events, should they even be allowed to host the games?
Our present economic model, which could be described as 'take, make, dispose', has generated significant improvements in our standard of living, but is also harming us. According to the World Health Organisation, each year twenty times more people die of diseases linked to mismanagement of waste and pollutants than die from malaria.
So Gary, dear Gary, yes you might think it dull to hear yet again that people find that watching other sports shows up how obnoxious the cheating and time wasting is in football, but the reason it's said every time, is because it's still just as true now as it was the last time, and as it will be the next time too.
I still think that Donald Trump might just win the Presidential election. Nationalism is extreme patriotism; a feeling of superiority over other countries. The causes are historic for both the UK and US...many citizens in both the US and UK see their countries as having a 'superior' backstory filled with heroic deeds and victories.
Why can't I watch the BBC outside the UK? If it is to do with contracts for selling content abroad, they should change the contracts. The world is changing. NBC is getting punished by viewers for its approach. Many, like me, would be happy to subscribe to an IBC channel. Lucky viewers in the UK, know that your BBC TV service is gold.
Most people possess a model of the world, a script for how things should be. What stops innovation is the lack of willingness to double back and revisit our scripts and determine whether they are helpful or not... it's not working harder but working smarter which is what double loop thinking requires us to do.
In wars and disaster zones, a simple explanation is that humanity is a force that advances the idea of life, with dignity. To strengthen the idea of humanity for people caught in conflicts, epidemics and disasters, we could borrow some ideas from the Olympic motto: Citius (faster), Altius (higher) and Fortius (stronger).