Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Able Bodied Olympics

This is really weird to write about. Should I write about it more? Is it weird for you? Are you even interested in this? I am so very, very conflicted.

Ok, Erica, stop writing like a 17 year old.

So I've been hearing about this girl a lot this weekend. Girl is an Olympic athlete, what an accomplishment! You go girl!

BUT... but.

Every article I've read about her says how impressive she is and how amazing it is what she's doing.

Yes, it IS impressive that she's an Olympic athlete, it IS impressive that she has come so far as an athlete. All very, very impressive.

What isn't impressive is that she's doing it with one hand.
Spoiler alert: you don't need two hands to play table tennis.
She made the Olympics by competing on the same level with no disadvantage as other competitors. Much like how a one-handed runner could potentially compete in the Olympics.

I'm saying 'Olympics' as compared to the 'Paralympics'. However in most articles that I've read, the term 'able bodied' Olympics keeps popping up. Does that make it the 'able bodied' Olympics and the 'non able bodied' Olympics? MUCHO DISLIKE.

Really, what I'm getting at is, as I share a lot with this girl I don't like it when it's pointed out that I'm in sort sort of special group and deserve crazy credit. I am, much like this girl is, just trying to fit in with all the rest of this crazy planet. I don't want special treatment, I want to earn my way through the same trials as the rest of you. I don't get to stand closer or count faster when I'm marking in frisbee because I have shorter arms than everyone else.

What I would prefer would be to see the media treating her as having a 'special story' and not that her performance is more impressive than any other female table tennis player. That's not fair to the ABLE BODIED table tennis players who have worked just as hard to get this far.

Send hate mail to onearmedbandit (at) gmail. SERIOUSLY. (Seriously).