Micronesia left behind by the Paralympic movement
Thursday, August 30, 2012
London, England — At the (IPC) press conference Monday, Sir indicated the goal of the IPC is to grow disability sport globally. At the same time, according to of the , the Micronesian of Oceania has been left completely behind by the Paralympic movement.
According to a member of the, 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 Islands, Palau, 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 the United 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.
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