The big problem: the layout
The idea behind the Games is to involve as many athletes as possible. “But people have so many different types of disabilities that it would be unfair for them to all compete against each other in the same classes.” So you have to create different classes, but how? “In the past, this was done on medical diagnosis: for example, a class for people with spinal cord injuries and another class for amputees. The problem was that this resulted in a huge number of classes.
Today they are trying to create functional classes. “It means that you are putting together people with roughly the same disability.” It sounds fairer, but it can also lead to some weird situations. “For example, it may happen that a person with dwarfism fights against a person with a spinal cord injury, as is now the case with swimming was the case.
It will probably never be quite fair, but according to Janssen it is inherent in the sport: “If it was fair everyone would win. Also, as mentioned, the courses not only aim to make it as fair as possible, but also to involve as many people as possible. Janssen therefore resigned himself to the fact that we can never divide the courses to everyone’s satisfaction.
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