Perhaps more interesting to us than the Sochi Olympics was the Sochi Paralympics that occurred in mid-March. We started to write “People with serious disabilities from more than 40 countries competed in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, and wheelchair curling.”and thought better of it. The word disability doesn’t seem right. “Differently abled”… “uniquely challenged”? We see how much words can pigeonhole. Athletes like Inga Medvedeva of Russia defied that, though not always without unexpected mishaps and difficulty. Witness Franz Hanfstingl of Germany’s dramatic tumble during the men’s downhill sitting…

Vassil Donev/EPA

…Toby Kane of Australia stretched to cross the line in the Men’s SC slalom (with super-g) run 1

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Hannah Peters/Getty Images

…Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss celebrated after crossing the finish line to win the women’s standing slalom event

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Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The big message to us: say YES, try, practice, fail, try some more, get better, get great, defy the “can’t” and limiting view (whatever it may be.)

Check out more inspiring images from The Big Picture‘s powerful photo essay.

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