Olympic games are exciting and attractive: the best athletes in the world compete in order to become the number one in a certain discipline, from swimming to running, from skiing to snowboarding.
After the Olympic games, another event ususally takes place: the Paralympics. These games are as fun as the others and can be even more impressive, if you think of what people with disabilities are able to do! It takes the breath out of you!
Did you see Swedish Zebastian Modin win a silver medal in cross country skiing?
I really hope you did.
Maybe you don’t know that in order to take part in the Paralympics, athletes need to be eligible. This means that their impairment has to be assessed and then each person is assigned to a certain class, made of athletes with similar levels of impairment. This procedure has to be done accurately, since a wrong choice may affect the result of a competition and therefore the interest of people in a certain sport.
However, these assessments are currently made through subjective evaluations. The International Paralympic Committee knows that this is a big limitation and is trying to do its best in order to find new tools and methods that would allow to obtain objective measurements about the level of impairment. During my Master’s thesis I had the chance to get in touch with this world, trying to give my little contribution. I found it very exciting and challenging!
Check this out:
(Below a picture of Zebastian Modin from this website: http://paralympics.se/zebastian-ar-pa-jakt-efter-guldet/)
I hope that this post made you even more interested in parasports and the research that we can do around it to support athletes!
You can also support by watching more and spreading the word:-)