Saturday, October 13, 2012

Advancing Amputee Distance Running and Records

 After far too long and too many conflicting excuses, leg amputees will finally be allowed to run in an IPC sanctioned distance event, the 2013 London Marathon.


I have written a number of posts about  the fact no official world records could be set by amputees in distance events because of the IPC's discrimination toward leg amputees. You can read about this injustice here.  An individual cannot claim a world record unless it is certified by the sport's governing body. The IPC has fervently denied leg amputees to run in distance events, thereby preventing official records from being set. It is a maddening Catch-22 against the very people the organization should take every opportunity to help.

This is is just one of the excuses the IPC had offered up to discriminate against Richard Whitehead in the 2012 Paralympics:

"The IPC refused him permission to race in the marathon against upper body amputees because it would confuse spectators and other athletes said it could be dangerous. An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was thrown out."

Confuse the spectators? What the hell?  I think they were looking for something else, the excuses simply do not add up.


Here are some of the posts I wrote about this disgrace. While seeking information on world records - and claims of them - I was often personally attacked which was astounding. Some cursed me and others no longer corresponded after I found no one could point me to official records for leg amputees outside of personal claims. (I have been aware of some effort by others to make this distinction clear which is progress.)

IIAGDTR: Goal Setting

Amputee Running Distance Records - Can you help?


IIAGDTR: Distance Running Records for Amputees


IIAGDTR: The Big Fail: Amputee Distance Record Keeping

I wanted to verify that records would be indeed kept but to date there has been no response to this lowly grand masters runner. I posed the question to the IPC on Facebook and Twitter, and here is what I asked:

Facebook: Will the 2013 London Marathon certify T42-T44 times as official world records for leg amputees? Will these records be officially kept outside of personal claims? Will all other distances (800m though marathon) be available to these classifications as well in future Paralympics?  


I reposted the tweet this morning to see if I could get a response. Best I can tell my post on Facebook was deleted (!) but does show up in Google searches.  

I still do not know if the IPC will continue to discriminate against leg amputees in other distance events (i.e. 5k, etc.) but it would not surprise me in the least. Not seeing my challenged friends competing in their preferred events in the 2012 Paralympics took a great deal of gloss off the games. I can only hope pressure will continue to be applied to the IPC by the athletes and the media to correct this great injustice foisted on the challenged athletes of the future.

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