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Micronesia left behind by the Paralympic movement

Sir Philip Craven at the International Paralympic Committee press conference Image: Laura Hale.

LondonEngland — At the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) press conference Monday, Sir Philip Craven indicated the goal of the IPC is to grow disability sport globally. At the same time, according to Paul Bird of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, the Micronesian of Oceania has been left completely behind by the Paralympic movement.

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According to a member of the Oceania Paralympic Committee, the IPC recognizes fewer countries than the International Olympic Committee, with IPC rules prohibiting countries from becoming full members of the organization if their independence is not clear. This rule dates back to the organization’s founding and no serious attempts have been made to change it since.

As many Micronesian countries are not viewed as independent countries, they cannot join. This includes Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall IslandsPalau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The only eligibility route for elite athletes with disabilities in these countries to the Paralympic Games is through their home country, which for most of the Micronesian region is theUnited States; they have to compete against better-funded and better-supported competitors to earn national team selection. No disability sport competitors from Micronesia were chosen to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

This problem is not unique to Micronesia, with the United States territories of Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands not being represented as members of the United States team in 2012.


All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5License, unless otherwise specified.   Originally published on English Wikinews

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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