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The London Olympics Were Wonderful, but the Paralympic Games Truly Made Me Proud to be British!

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Generally August is when I disappear into my shell to create my collection together with bags and jewelry as summer ends and then its show time again: British Fashion Week
(I'll give you all of those details soon!)

Sometimes however, one encounters a beautiful inspiration that transcends fashion and art.

One such is inspiration is Katy Sullivan who has stolen my heart.... I met in Katy in Los Angeles several months ago at a fundraiser for the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, CA. I was inspired by her poise and glamour: wearing a mini dress yet showing her prosthetic gleaming metal legs. I saw a film of her running and was completely overwhelmed.

Once I heard she had qualified to represent the USA for track I just had to design a Celebration London 2012 Paralympic Games t-shirt for her and her fans!

Katy returned to California from London last week to adoring crowds of Angelinos, having set a new American record for women's track in a bilateral lower extremity amputee and exceeded her own personal best. Before she knew it she was in Washington, DC, having been invited to meet the US President at the White House.

Why can Katy Sullivan run? And run so fast????

Katy Sullivan was born without legs. A decade ago this meant life in a wheelchair and social isolation. THINGS HAVE CHANGED!

What Happened?

In the 1990's, advances in technology (materials, microcomputers) and a new generation of engineer designers (several of whom were athletes and amputees!) led to a paradigm shift in attitude about what prosthetics could do, and "pride" in wearing a "bionic limb". Katy looks beautiful and natural, striding around with her metal legs. FASHION and beauty are for all of us.

Running?!?! Flex-Foot: In the 21st Century true innovators emerged,The 'Flex-Foot' Cheetah used by KATY SULLIVAN was designed by Van Phillips - an inventor and himself an amputee from a water skiing accident. Van Philips studied mechanical engineering and became the inventor of the Flex-Foot: based on ideas gleaned from studying the energy storing and release properties of divining boards, poles used in pole vaulting and the C shape of Chinese swords. His Flex-Foot concept found use for a range of people in different circumstances; the "Cheetah" was the one he designed for athletes to run and the one that Katy used for her historic performance in London's 2012 Paralympic Games.

As a Londoner I could not be prouder of the spectacular job done by our Country hosting the Olympic and Paralympic games!

Bye for now,

Zandra