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Paralympics: Athletes with Learning Disabilities to Compete

4th September, 2012

[Source:  BBC]

For the first time in 12 years athletes with learning disabilities can compete in The Paralympic games.
The category was banned after the Sydney 2000 Paralympics when it emerged players on the Spanish basketball team had faked having a disability.   Athletes with learning disabilities were unable to compete in Athens 2004 or Beijing 2008.  In the London 2012 Paralympic games 10 British athletes with learning disabilities will compete.
They will compete in athletics, swimming and table tennis.   There is a suggestion that athletes with learning disabilities will be able to compete in more events in 2016 at the Rio Paralympic Games.
Nick Parr, national sports manager from the charity Mencap, works with athletes with learning disabilities.  He said: “A learning disability is an unseen disability and can be more difficult to understand, particularly in a sporting environment.
“We can understand how, say, a wheel-chair user would be affected in a game of basketball but a learning disability affects the way someone’s brain works.
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