Define Oneself less Able Prerequisite For A Paralympian Paralympics

Let me immediately say that I believe paralympics the answer to this question should be No! The column highlights a wording in the classification codes I find problematic and unneeded. The blog piece is now.

Keith Lyons gives a brief history of the Olympics and includes Paralympians. This column was written by Keith Lyons. Given the fact that Pistorius has dominated media coverage for the past 4 years, it is very likely that this was news to many.

He also highlighted Natalia Partika, a table tennis player, and Oscar Pistorius, a disabled person who were competing at the 2012 Olympics. Both will be competing in the Paralympic Games at London.

It begs the question, what is it that allows you to participate in the Olympics and the Paralympics.


Natalia Partika and Natalie du Toit’s cases suggest that being a member of a normative body does not necessarily mean you are eligible to participate in the Olympics. Pistorius was only debate because of the cheetah leg tool he used, which was label as unfairly giving him an advantage.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), however, stated that there wasn’t enough data to support his claim. However, if there was, he would be ban from competing against normal leg track and cross-country athletes at the Olympics. This may not mean that the Olympic dream is over.

High jump athletes cannot compete with pole vaulting, but they can have their own event. Because Olympic participation is not tied to body composition, there is no reason why an artificial leg or wheelchair should not be treat as a pole or bobsleigh/bobsled. This could lead to an Olympic event. In another column, I’ll discuss the implications of this road.


Many articles have been written about disabled athletes participating in the Olympics. But I believe that disabled athletes who compete in the Olympics, such as Partika or Pistorius, pose a problem for eligibility for the Paralympics. Keith and Tracey, fellow bloggers, covered the Paralympic classifications.

A few words in the classifications for the International Paralympic Committee Para Table Tennis Division and the International Table Tennis Federation Para Table Tennis Division would be of interest to me.

In their 2010 ITTF Classification Code, the ITTF Para Table Tennis Division of the International Table Tennis Federation states:

An athlete cannot compete if he or she has a functional impairment that is permanent and clearly visible. An athlete who has an activity restriction that does not result in a permanent impairment and/or does no limit his/her ability to play equitably with other athletes with impairment is ineligible to compete.

International Paralympics Committee

The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC), classification code and international standard were establish in 2007. 5.2 3. An Athlete must be unable to compete if they have an impairment that causes a permanent and verifiable activity limitation.

5.3 An impairment should limit an Athlete’s ability to compete in elite sport with athletes without impairment. 5.4 An Athlete with an Activity Limitation that results from an impairment that isn’t permanent or doesn’t limit their ability to compete in elite sport with Athletes who are not impaired should be disqualify.

Following 5.3. of IPC and ITTF, one would conclude that Pistorius or Partika should not compete at the Paralympics since both have shown that they can compete equally in the Olympics.

However, I believe that the rule that requires that disable athletes prove that they are unable to compete with Olympic athletes should be discard. Keith and Tracey, fellow bloggers, highlighted the need for rules. The classifications were create to ensure that Paralympic athletes compete on an equal basis. But there’s no reason to tie it to Olympic athletes.

Rules That Paralympics Outline

Although there are rules that outline who can participate in the Men and Women Olympics, they do not allow for comparisons between different abilities. We would not accept such a rule.

Paralympics can be describe as the Parallel-lympics. They are, according to the highlighted rules, the less-able-lympics

This is not necessary. To avoid the possibility of paralympics flooding by non-impaired persons. One can place them in their own classifications such as double amputee, single amputee or no amputee. They will also have different qualifying times to gain entry into the Paralympics.

Without generating an ability judgment hierarchy between the categories, classifications can made base on body differences and tools. If one is not able to identify as less capable than others, how can one inspire the world?