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September 27th, 2013
11:22 PM ET

Disqualified Paralympian: They are penalizing me for having hope

American swimmer and 2012 Paralympic medal-winner Victoria Arlen spoke out about a ruling that barred her from competing at the World Championships this past August in Montreal. The International Paralympic Committee ruled the young athlete ineligible because she "failed to provide conclusive evidence of a permanent eligible impairment."

Arlen said the committee penalized her for having hope, "which is very sad, because without hope I wouldn't be here today."

Arlen explained the ruling on AC360. "I asked the doctor if I would ever have full function in my arms and legs again, and he said with all the medical research on the spinal cord there's hope, but it would be a miracle if you could walk again. They twisted the doctors words around and therefore it wasn't considered a 'permanent' impairment."

She said it was heartbreaking and devastating because the I.P.C. didn't give her, "an explanation or logical reason why this was happening ... It was based on the chance that I might walk again and basically didn't think I was eligible. Nothing has changed in the last 7 years and it's not going to change any time soon."

The swimmer wants to move on and not dwell on the ruling. She explained, "I've been though too much to let this break me. I'm here today and that's a blessing."

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Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
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  1. Terry C.

    This is an absolute travesty of any kind of justice. For years and years we have given our money to Jerry Lewis and MDA for on reason ....Hope.... That little 4 letter word helps so many get through the devastation caused by so many physically restrictive diseases and for this committee to take this away from this young lady because there is "hope" is the very worst kind of wrong they could ever do to not only her but to every other person living with a paralysing disease. We should all stand up and demand this wrong be righted.

    October 1, 2013 at 3:17 am |

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