HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Friday, June 18, 2021

To what extent does the Paralympic Games promote the integration of disabled persons into society?

Chui Ling Goh (University of Melbourne), To what extent does the Paralympic Games promote the integration of disabled persons into society?, 20 Int'l Sports L. J. (2020):

Every 4 years, the Paralympic Games (both the Summer and Winter editions) showcase the sporting performances of disabled persons. The Paralympic Movement has strived to promote the inclusion of disabled persons into society through sports, but the endeavours of the Paralympic Games are limited due to various features of the said Games, from the limitations of disability classification at the Paralympic Games, the increasing prominence of technology in disability sports, to the inapt media portrayal and ‘supercrip’ campaigning at the Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Games, as a separate sporting event from the Olympic Games, also exacerbate and reinforce the medical perception of disabilities in society. This paper discusses the extent to which the Paralympic Games has promoted the inclusion of disabled persons into society through sports, in light of the human rights framework found in the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other core interna- tional human rights treaties. This paper will conclude that while the Paralympic Games is limited in its endeavours, the said Games does promote sports for disabled persons as an ideal and an endeavour as an elite sport for disabled person, as part of the Paralympic Movement, as well as espouse the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedom for disabled persons in society. This paper will also proffer recommendations which can be embarked upon to promote better inclusion of disabled persons into society through the Paralympic Games.

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