In 2008, double amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa successfully lobbied for the right to race on carbon fiber blades in IAAF events, including the Olympic Games. Four years later he became the first amputee to run against able-bodied competition at the Olympics when he competed in the 400 meters in London.
This year German long jumper Markus Rehm attempted to qualify for the Rio Olympics, but officials, concerned that his artificial leg conferred an unfair advantage, did not permit him to compete. Half a century after the first Paralympic Games, in Rome, in 1960, the distinction between disability and ability is disappearing.
Speaking from personal experience, the classification system that is place in Paralympic sport is an absolute mine field, as I competed in 3 different sport throughout my 10 years career. I could tell you why someone is in that particular classification in a sport I did, but couldn’t do the same if it was the same disability in a different sport and that is probably why it is to complex of system.
In this latest blog, I caught up with Dan Highcock who is now an online training, nutrition coach as well as being a professional wheelchair basketball player in Spain. Not only that Dan and I also competed alongside each other at London 2012 for ParalympicsGB, though not in the same sport.
In this latest blog, I sat down to interview Karen Kyle from disabilityfitness.ca.
How Long have you been in the Fitness Industry?
“I started off as a Group Fitness Instructor at the YMCA 10 years ago and became a certified Personal Trainer in 2013.”
What was your background before getting into the fitness industry?
“For the last 18 years, I have worked as an Independent Living Assistant. Helping persons with disabilities, live as independently as possible within their own homes. I also worked as a deaf/blind intervener for 14 yrs. Both jobs gave me the experience I needed to specialise in my fitness training practice.”
Why do you feel that people with a disability have a decline in activity, motivational and individual peer support?
It’s quite astonishing to think this time 4 years ago, I would have be competing at my 2 Paralympics in London.
It’s quite astonishing to think that this time 4 years ago, I was competing at my second Paralympics in London. It was an honour and a privilege to have been able to compete at a home Games, something many athletes never get to accomplish during their careers.