Rules change discriminates

My wife and I have a daughter with special needs. She has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound. Unless I am snuggling her, she is in her chair.

Every year, she looks forward to the Special Olympics. She can't do much but be pushed by her home health nurse or a cousin in the wheelchair race. She gets so excited she literally almost stands up in her chair.

This year, however, we were told she could not compete because her chair was not motorized. When my wife told me that, I almost cried.

My daughter is being discriminated against by Special Olympics. What is the world coming to?

I was very upset, to say the least. That race is one thing my little girl looks forward to every year and now she can't even do that.

Tony Robichaud, Lewiston

Editor's note: According to the Special Olympics Lewiston-area director, the rules for wheelchair competition at the state level have changed this year. Athletes must be able to propel themselves in manual wheelchairs or use a motorized chair to compete. They may no longer rely on assistants to push their chairs. Special Olympics does offer opportunities for non-propelling athletes to compete in other venues other than state games.

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Comments

 's picture

Assisted racing

Bob67- What about the other contestants that are not being assisted by a "pusher"? Why can't there be a different class for the ones that can not propel themselves? I don't think discrimination comes into play as much as one person is unfairly competing by being pushed!

 's picture

I was allowed to run along

I was allowed to run along beside a competitor who would otherwise become distracted and leave the race. What's the difference?! Let the girl race!

Rules change discriminates

What a shame!

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