Does is seem right that athletes with learning disabilities are to be allowed to compete against physically disabled athletes in the 2012 Paralympic Games?
To me it doesn’t seem fair. The whole point of having a separate set of games, I thought, was that athletes with physical disabilities are at a disadvantage when competing against able-bodied athletes.
Learning difficulties create difficulties of their own, but are they likely to adversely affect a person’s ability to move at speed/with strength, in the same way as a disability that affects limb function? In broad terms, I’d have thought not. (I say “in broad terms” because clearly some physical disabilities are more likely to affect speed/strength than others.)
All things considered, if I were a physically disabled athlete who had put in years of training I think I’d be feeling pretty fed up right now. Perhaps there should be a third category of olympic competition, specifically for those with learning disabilities…? It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.