Disabled Athletes

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Raj, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Raj

    Raj New Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    East Kilbride, Scotl
    The Commonwealth Games have been taking place in Manchester, England for the last two weeks and there has been an interesting innovation.

    Instead of there being a separate Disabled games, there is instead a number of disabled events that are part of the main games.

    This means that the Disabled Athletes are competing at the same time as the regular athletes and allso that their medals get counted against the medals tables.

    Any comments?

    Personally, I am in favour of this as it means that we will think of the Disabled athletes just in terms of their athletic ability rather than their Disability.

    Lets face it, someone who goes fast in a wheelchair and competes at the highest level is as much an athlete as someone who runs fast.
  2. fiddlestick

    fiddlestick New Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    The 4 8 0
    Triple check any Spaniards who have entered.
  3. Peakite

    Peakite Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    Halifax Town
    Indeed, we never did quite get round to making them part of our Empire.

    As to the topic in hand

    In some ways it is quite good, but I'd be tempted not to. You have to be very selective, with all the classes in each event you simply cannot have more than a token number in. I know there are always some difficulties about which events to include for able bodied athletes in championships, but there is likely a reasonably similar event they can compete competitively in. There is no way such a thing would be feasible for disabled athletes. This would be compounded by the relative numbers of able-bodied/disabled athletes too. The latter group is admittedly large, but significantly smaller than the former.

    I don't have anything against it, and I certainly wouldn't deny that disabled athletes shouldn't be thought of as anything other than athletes, but this does smack more of tokenism, and always will do.
  4. SJFC4ever

    SJFC4ever New Member

    May 12, 2000
    Obviously I am in favour of us, since one of our few gold medals was won in an EAD event. (men's triples in the bowls) The only concern I would have about this is that in this particular sport the weather played a massive influence. It looked like the Welsh team were getting on top, but couldn't score shots in the final end because they couldn't get any bowls near the target because it started to rain heavily. This wouldn't have been such a big problem with able-bodied bowlers, as they could take a bigger swing, but wheelchair bowlers cannot.

    But the EAD events have given the South Africa, Nathalie du Toit, the opportunity to win two gold medals for her team's tally and to set two world records. For me, she is the biggest star of this Games because of what she had to come through so recently (a motorbike accident, resulting in an amputation of one leg, less than six months ago) and what she is doing now.

    I think if this kind of thing is to continue, it has to be selective and restrict to mainly the sports where the EAD can perform to an "elite" level, and this is the case with the events that were included that I watched on TV.
  5. Raj

    Raj New Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    East Kilbride, Scotl
    I wasn't so much talking about where Disabled athletes compete in the same event as the Able Bodied Athlets. I was referring to the fact that instead of there being a separate disabled games after the Commonwealth games the diabled events were integrated into the main games timetable and the gold medals for these events counted towards the overall medals table.

    I agree that it's difficult for a Disabled athlete to compete in the same event as able bodied ones but it surely is possible for the Disabled events to be integrated into the overall framework rather than being an afterthought.
  6. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

    May 1, 2000
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think at smaller events yes, but I think you do push it a bit logistically trying to intergrate them into the Olympics. I went to the 2004 Athens site, and it's quite large in their own right:
  7. Peakite

    Peakite Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    Halifax Town
    Although as proved by Natalie du Toit (sp?) not impossible.

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