Disability sports was initially created to help rehabilitate war veterans, since then it has become extremely popular and occurs across the globe. Historically, disability sports has not received very much attention, to this day it is taken less seriously than sports played by able-bodied athletes (DePauw). This calls for a change, disability sports should be taken more seriously because it brings awareness to disability, forces those able-bodied to redefine its outlook on disability, and encourages those disabled to accept and think positively about their disability despite the standards set by society.
Before disability sports, those with disabilities were often ignored or locked away in an institution. After WWII, when many men were returning home missing limbs or with loss of hearing, disability sports was created to help rehabilitate them back into society. Although there were disabled people playing sports, there was still very little attention given by the public. It was not until disability sports became ‘official’ that it became something big enough to catch societies attention.
The first official sporting event for disabled persons was held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England for patients with spinal cord injuries (Thomas pg1). There would later be techniques created in order to teach these veterans other sports, like skiing. These ski techniques were picked up by Jim Winthers who essentially began the development of disability sports in America (Website).Jim Winthers was a WWII veteran running a ski resort. He was reunited with two of his friends, both of whom had lost a leg in the war, and preceded to teach them how to ski. Later, Winthers would work with Jim Graham,...
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...t people are made aware and are educated on disability, the less that society will discourage and discriminate against those who suffer from it. There have been examples of this all through history. Women used to be seen as care takers and nothing more, they were made to stay home and care for the house and kids, and now we have women running for president. As society becomes more accustomed to disability sports there should follow an increase in accessibility for disabled children to learn and play such sports. As of now there is interest in disability sports, but it is still only a fraction compared to sports played by the able-bodied. By taking disability sports more seriously more children will have the ability to be a part of something bigger than their disability and elite disability athletes will be able to get the recognition that they’ve worked so hard for.
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