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.