Channel 4’s 2016 trailer for the Paralympic Games, We’re the Superhumans, shows exactly how much excitement and inspiration 140 athletes and musicians with disabilities can generate. Throughout the video we’re shown extraordinary talent, from Alvin Law drum rolling using his feet, to Jessica Cox piloting a plane with her feet. Everyday people with disabilities are shown doing most anything; picking up a child, playing a piano, rock-climbing, tap dancing and so much more.
We’re the Superhumans is accompanied by Brisbane singer Tony Doevendan’s (Dee) toe-tapping rendition of the Sammy Davis Junior track, Yes I Can performed from his wheelchair. A group called Can-do Musos discovered Dee on YouTube singing Come Fly With Me, posted by his wife.
“They loved it. They sent me the song they wanted to feature in the ad and after a few weeks I had been chosen as the singer!” Mr Dee says.
Dee is 47 years old and has Spina Bifida. He is married with two grown-up stepchildren and has represented Australia in wheelchair dance sport with his wife. We’re the Superhumans sets out to encourage people to think differently about what a Super Human can really do, and Dee is one of many who is spreading this message so beautifully.
We’re the Super Humans was recorded at Battersea Park Studios in London and it was there that the huge project set in for Dee. “I was so happy with the playback I could hardly believe it was me singing, but I was assured that it was,” Mr Dee said.
The 2016 Paralympic games trailer is wildly different than the successful 2012 trailer, which focused on the strength and speed of the athletes. The repeated one line “Yes I Can,” instantly encapsulates the Paralympics spirit. “I believe it refers to things we are passionate about. We should never assume we can’t, but keep a positive attitude, which will help immensely in breaking through any obstacles we may face.”
With the 2016 trailer capturing more than 31 million viewers on Facebook alone, Dee’s singing can be heard all around the world. “I would love to record at least once for myself, and continue to do live gigs and see the smiles on people’s faces when they hear what I sing.”
The Rio Paralympics start today. You can watch The Superhumans here.
Words By Ella Jones
Image via Tony Dee Music