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Following problems relating to eligibility at the Sydney Olympic Games, 2000, all athletes with learning differences were excluded from participation in future Games.

However, in London 2012, adults with what are referred to as ‘intellectual (learning) disabilities’ will once more be welcomed into the Paralympic Games. A limited number of sports such as swimming and table tennis will invite entrants with intellectual disabilities to participate. These are athletes who are challenged by tactical aspects of competition and who require special coaching.

Whilst the terminology used is, arguably, questionable, this is, nevertheless, a  decision that will positively affect the aspirations of millions of people with learning differences across the world.


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