Daily News Egypt

The Paralympics: A long way from a merger - Daily News Egypt

Advertising Area




Advertising Area




The Paralympics: A long way from a merger

The idea of merging the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been discussed from time to time. However but there is little support for the idea among the associations that govern the various sports represented.


The idea of merging the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been discussed from time to time. However but there is little support for the idea among the associations that govern the various sports represented.
Almost nobody remembers George Eyser these days. The American gymnast was the third-most successful athlete at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, winning one bronze, two silver and three gold medals – despite the fact that he had lost a leg in an accident. More than a century ago, Eyser became the first disabled athlete to compete at the Olympic Games.

Since then, several athletes with disabilities have competed at the Olympics, including South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit and her compatriot, sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Just this year the Iranian archer Zahra Nemati competed at the Rio Olympics. Long jumper Markus Rehm failed in his bid to be granted permission to compete at the Rio OlymAlmost nobody remembers George Eyser these days. The American gymnast was the third-most successful athlete at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, winning one bronze, two silver and three gold medals – despite the fact that he had lost a leg in an accident. More than a century ago, Eyser became the first disabled athlete to compete at the Olympic Games.

Since then, several athletes with disabilities have competed at the Olympics, including South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit and her compatriot, sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Just this year the Iranian archer Zahra Nemati competed at the Rio Olympics. Long jumper Markus Rehm failed in his bid to be granted permission to compete at the Rio Olympics as we was unable to prove that prosthesis does not give him and advantage over able-bodied athletes. These stories all seem to raise the same question: Don’t athletes with and without disabilities belong on the same stage?

Dismissed by the major sports

True inclusion in competitive sports would mean the merger of Olympic and Paralympic Games and it is an idea that some ​​politicians and human rights activists argue, whose time has come. But one key hurdle remains: There is simply not enough support for this idea among the various international sports associations.

In 2007, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) took the decision to cease being the governing body of disabled sports by 2016 at the latest. The aim was to the disabled and able-bodied athletes compete under common organizing structures. However, the IPC still organizes world championships in 10 of the 22 Paralympic sports – including athletics and swimming – because IAAF and FINA have shown little interest in opening their federations up to include athletes with disabilities.

“There is no willingness to talk,” Jörg Frischmann, managing director of the disabled sports department at German sports club Bayer Leverkusen. While there are isolated examples of inclusion in Germany, such as at the swimming club in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen or athletics at Bayer Leverkusen, it is far from existing across the board. “We have even regressed,” Frischmann said.

Respect for the prosthesis

The inclusion debate most recently focused on Markus Rehm and his bid to be allowed to compete with able-bodied athletes. This has given many people the impression that having prosthesis gives a disabled athlete an unfair advantage.

“Teachers and trainers need to be able to cope with diversity,” said Thomas Abel, professor of Paralympic sport at the German Sports University in Cologne. “Therefore, we need to align the technical methodology along the lines of inclusion from the very beginning.”

Inclusion is not always possible, particularly when it comes to severe disabilities or sporting facilities that are not barrier-free. However, Abel believes more could be done. In Cologne, for example, new physical education teachers learn about wheelchair basketball, a team sport that the able-bodied can also participate in.

Advertising for a barrier-free village

In international terms, Canada and Britain have set the standard when it comes to inclusion in sports. In both of those countries the education of coaches, the battle against doping, and financial compensation are all governed by a network of sporting associations that govern both able-bodied and disabled athletes. In both countries, the process of inclusion was accelerated by their hosting of the Paralympics – in Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012.

Progress in triathlon and canoeing

However, in places like Germany, progress on inclusion remains slow, but there has been some. The German triathlon union (DTU) and the International Triathlon Union, for example, now put great emphasis on cooperation between Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Their competitions are usually held at the same venues, so the disabled athletes benefit from the same spectators, coaches and volunteers.

“We are fully inclusive,” said triathlete Stefan Löser with obvious pride. “We are welcomed with open arms.” Canoeing, cycling and table tennis have also made significant progress in terms of inclusion.

“First of all, we need a grass-roots debate,” said former biathlete Verena Bentele, who is now the German government’s commissioner for matters relating to disabled persons. Only after this has taken place, can serious considerations be given to merging the Olympic and Paralympic Games.pics as we was unable to prove that prosthesis does not give him an advantage over able-bodied athletes. These stories all seem to raise the same question: Don’t athletes with and without disabilities belong on the same stage?

Dismissed by the major sports

True inclusion in competitive sports would mean the merger of Olympic and Paralympic Games and it is an idea that some ​​politicians and human rights activists argue, whose time has come. But one key hurdle remains: There is simply not enough support for this idea among the various international sports associations.

In 2007, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) took the decision to cease being the governing body of disabled sports by 2016 at the latest. The aim was to the disabled and able-bodied athletes compete under common organizing structures. However, the IPC still organizes world championships in 10 of the 22 Paralympic sports – including athletics and swimming – because IAAF and FINA have shown little interest in opening their federations up to include athletes with disabilities.

“There is no willingness to talk,” Jörg Frischmann, managing director of the disabled sports department at German sports club Bayer Leverkusen. While there are isolated examples of inclusion in Germany, such as at the swimming club in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen or athletics at Bayer Leverkusen, it is far from existing across the board. “We have even regressed,” Frischmann said.

Respect for the prosthesis

The inclusion debate most recently focused on Markus Rehm and his bid to be allowed to compete with able-bodied athletes. This has given many people the impression that having prosthesis gives a disabled athlete an unfair advantage.

“Teachers and trainers need to be able to cope with diversity,” said Thomas Abel, professor of Paralympic sport at the German Sports University in Cologne. “Therefore, we need to align the technical methodology along the lines of inclusion from the very beginning.”

Inclusion is not always possible, particularly when it comes to severe disabilities or sporting facilities that are not barrier-free. However, Abel believes more could be done. In Cologne, for example, new physical education teachers are learn about wheelchair basketball, a team sport that the able-bodied can also participate in.

Advertising for a barrier-free village

In international terms, Canada and Britain have set the standard when it comes to inclusion in sports. In both of those countries the education of coaches, the battle against doping, and financial compensation are all governed by a network of sporting associations that govern both able-bodied and disabled athletes. In both countries, the process of inclusion was accelerated by their hosting of the Paralympics – in Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012.

Progress in triathlon and canoeing

However, in places like Germany, progress on inclusion remains slow, but there has been some. The German triathlon union (DTU) and the International Triathlon Union, for example, now put great emphasis on cooperation between Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Their competitions are usually held at the same venues, so the disabled athletes benefit from the same spectators, coaches and volunteers.

“We are fully inclusive,” said triathlete Stefan Löser with obvious pride. “We are welcomed with open arms.” Canoeing, cycling and table tennis have also made significant progress in terms of inclusion.

“First of all, we need a grass-roots debate,” said former biathlete Verena Bentele, who is now the German government’s commissioner for matters relating to disabled persons. Only after this has taken place, can serious considerations be given to merging the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Advertising Area



https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2016/09/12/the-paralympics-a-long-way-from-a-merger/
Breaking News

No current breaking news

Receive our daily newsletter
Subscribe