Sport, both elite and recreational, is seen as important for the quality of lives, self-esteem, independence and social integration of people with disabilities. At the same time, many people with disabilities feel that there is not enough opportunity, recognition and support to participate in sport. Inclusion in society is a main goal of people with disabilities and various efforts have been made in this regard specifically in mainstreaming people with disabilities into recreational sport and physical education in schools. What, however, is the inclusion reality and vision within high profile, high performance sport? What is the inclusion discourse and inclusion vision within the Paralympic movement and Games especially as it pertains to the relationship between the Paralympic and Olympic Games? What might the future hold for the relationship between the Olympic and Paralympic Games? What might the inclusion discourse look like in the future? To answer these questions this paper will address the inclusion discourse within the Paralympic Movement by investigating the historical vision of Sir Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980), the founder of the Paralympic Movement and by tracking the inclusion discourse of the Paralympic Movement from its inception until today. This paper finally thematizes the issue of inclusion by looking at possible future scenarios of the Paralympic Games and its relationship to the Olympic Games keeping in mind advances in the next generations of therapeutic assistive devices that will inevitably narrow the performance gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
|Keywords:||Disabled People, People with Disabilities, Paralympics, Olympics, Pistorius, Doping, Guttmann, New Technologies, Ableism, History, Sport Ethics, Cyborg Athlete|
Assistant Professor, Community Health Science Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Associate Professor AMF/Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine & Health Care, Department of Community Health Sciences & Department of History, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada