The disabled sport

In this post I will reveal why I do not watch para-Olympics or any other disabled sport broadcasts. As usual, da-boss’ views may be a bit controversial but is this not why you are following my blog?

The first reason why I have no time for competitive disabled sport is that it is based on discrimination. As per the online dictionary:

discrimination is:

treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

Not allowing the able-bodied athletes to compete in the para events is exactly that – treatment of a person based on the group, class or category rather than individual merit. “Open” sports competitions offer equal opportunity –  anyone at all can participate in them. For example, as evidenced by the example of Oscar Pistorius, a man without legs can race the able-bodied sprinters. But able-bodied sprinters are not allowed to take part in the disabled sportsmen competitions. I view this as discrimination against the able-bodied people and it would take some effort to convince me otherwise.

The second reason I do not support competitive disabled sport is that it is a social engineers’ attempt to level the playing field in the game of life. The fact is different people have different abilities, either from birth or due to whatever happened to them in life. Some have analytical minds and will beat others in chess. Some have perfect pitch and will make great musicians. Some are artistically creative and will write music for them to play. But would we run chess tournaments for people with low IQ or brain-damaged as a result of accidents? Would you go to a concert where an orchestra of the deaf were playing works composed by people with no musical ability? To me the idea is equally absurd as, for example, wheelchair basketball. Competitive basketball is for the fit and tall – this is just how it is and no amount of social engineering will change it.

The third reason I am not into disabled competitions is that their rules are fiddly and open to abuse. 100m sprint in “open” Olympics is a straight-forward affair. You take off at the starters gun and whoever gets to the finish line first wins. Transparent, simple and easy. A similar wheelchair competition has numerous rules regarding the size of wheels, tires, rims etc. But this is just the beginning – the results of a 100m wheelchair sprint must be converted, depending on the disability class of the individual participants:

so whoever gets to the finish will not necessarily win the event. There have even been examples of para-athletes  cheating to get assigned a more favourable disability class:

So, while I admire the efforts of individuals in overcoming their limitations, competitive disabled sport is not my cup of tea.


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