The darker side of the paralympics


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While last year’s paralympics games were hailed us a symbol of disability utopia by the disability elite, when they were not complaining about the smallest of problems, I believe they hijacked the publicity of the games for political gain when they had no interest in sport before the games and since them. The reality of the games is very different as there is a darker side to what could be argued as a celebration of the medical model.

 

The games were born out of the rehabilitation movement and they are very much controlled by medical professions as coaches and organisers. Every athletic is classified using an extremely medical model system which is far more barbaric than anything ATOS could ever. The games is also full of impairment elitism and politics. An example is people with cerebral palsy are pushed into boccia or swimming, and maybe football is they are able. I was a competitive swimming using a lifejacket, only competing with others using lifejackets, a technical aid like a wheelchair for wheelchair racing. But because of politics and what the non-disabled organisers deemed acceptable, I was unable to compete internationally.

 

So when thinking about the paralympics, it is worth understanding the full picture and not just the media hype.

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  

 
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