As we inch closer to the next Olympic Games, related organizations have had a bit of trouble presenting a positive face to the public. Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee responded to global uproar over Russia’s strict anti-gay laws by suggesting that gay athletes and supporters try to tone it down a bit while visiting the Motherland for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
Now the International Paralympics Committee has earned a bit of bad press for deciding to ban swimmer Victoria Arlen from competing in future events, most importantly the Paralympic World Swimming Championships in Montreal.
Their point? There’s an infinitesimal chance that Arlen, who lost the use of her legs in 2006 thanks to a rare viral disease that paralyzed her from the waist down and left her in a coma for nearly two years, might walk again some day. Her coach says that her doctors call it “a sliver of hope”—and that’s apparently enough for the committee to remove her from the competition.
The swimmer and her fans are not happy:
Some other facts about Ms. Arlen: