The participants are those of us who like to not only defy God by living longer than he clearly intended with the aid of man-made devices and interventions, but who like to run around tracks, hollering about the fact that we have cheated him (yes, we know he'll still get us in the end, but in the meantime, we enjoy the gloating).
The Games are for everyone who had a tranpslant and those on dialysis, all age groups, all levels of fitness and capability. The purpose is to highlight the difference organ donation makes to our lives and also to keep us healthy and fit while we continue to cheat Death.
That's the official line anyway.
In reality, it's all about the gold. It's about winning and crossing the line ahead of the rest and having all the glory that Sonia O'Sullivan missed out on due to various stomach-related illnesses (that excuse doesn't really fly in our Games - we see her "food poisoning" and we raise it "organ failure").
Ok, I may have a slightly competitive streak. I am in fact currently observing a self-imposed ban from the game of Scrabble because I tend to become a monster when presented with a tablet of letters and a challenge to beat everyone else with the words I create.
But personally, it would make me feel like even more of a sick person to be patted on the back just for making it from the changing room to the start line without needing an oxygen mask.
I probably won't win anything at the Games*, but then I'll reserve the right to be really annoyed and behave as the brother does when his football team loses a match - you blame the weather, the opposition, the ground conditions, your footwear, your old injuries and then you stop speaking for two days.
My body may be sick, but my mentality is still the same. You play to win. Period.
Note: The Games take place in August. If you never hear me mention them again, it's because I went out and lost in spectacular fashion. I will then be eating all these words along with all my words from many aborted games of Scrabble.