Gold Medal Winning Paraplegic Swimmer Banned Because She Isn’t Paralyzed Enough
Paralyzed swimmer Victoria Arlen's story is amazing. Paralyzed from the waist down at age 11 by a rare neurological disorder of the spinal chord, she was in a coma for three years. Since then she has become a top competitor at the Paralympics,winning gold medals, and refusing to let her disability keep her down. But, now, she's being banned from this week's Paralympics because of a ruling that says she's not paralyzed enough.
There apparently is, at least in theory, a chance that Victoria will walk again some day, and the Paralympics committee released a statement saying she has failed to "provide conclusive evidence of a permanent eligible impairment."
While disappointed, Victoria says she won't be bitter about it, but hopes that the same thing won't happen to other disabled athletes.
We certainly understand the need for rules in any sort of competition, but in this case common sense has been abandoned. It would seem that for any paraplegic- given the possibility of a miracle - there is hope and a chance they will one day walk again. Yes, some may be less likely than others to recover, but there is hope for each one.Why is Victoria any different?
When it comes to competing in the paralympics, officials need to use some common sense. Yes, Victoria may walk again, but she has been in this condition for seven years. She should be allowed to compete until there is valid, verified evidence that she somehow is not truly paralyzed or is showing bona fide signs that her condition is changing.