Wheelchair racer’s win raises issue of fairness
This is an interesting one. My first impulse is to say that wheelchair cross country is a different sport from able-bodied cross country. Does cross country have the concept of an exhibition competitor? I’m very sports-illiterate, but when my kids were swimming competitively some meets had “no faster than” times. A competitor who was faster could still (sometimes) swim the event, but as an exhibition swimmer who could not place or win.
Well, kudos to the Oregon coaches for erring in what I think was probably the wrong direction for once in the sorry history of secondary athletics. I am guessing that maybe this cropped up in Oregon because of the golfer, Casey Martin, who is from Oregon and his well-publicized legal issue (is golf fundamentally the same game when one uses a cart for mobility? I think so, but a lot of guys in loud pants don’t agree).
Although I don’t happen to think cross country racing in a chair is fundamentally the same as conventional cross country racing, it is interesting to see another racer’s reaction, viz. “I’ll never underestimate you again.” Good for that.