Able bodied person competing in wheelchair sports?

Last night I watch a cool Monster Garage where they turned a Mercedes SUV into a killer vehicle for a guy in a wheel chair.

My G/F then started telling me about a guy she knew who competed in wheelchair races after a hiking accident left his legs paralyzed.

I then thought, could a person with full use of their legs be able to compete in wheel chair sports? Or are there rules against that?


I imagine that you mean competitively, like in the olympics or other events/competitions like that.

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer about that.

When I was in rehab. there was a woman that played on a competitive wheelchair basketball team. It surprised me that she would play wheelchair basketball since she was walking around and looked perfectly fine to me. It turned out that she was missing her foot and the lower part of the leg, so she used a prosthesis. She moved fine, and her movement looked natural. If she hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known the difference.

So thinking about that, it’s just a guess, but I don’t think someone that is fully functional would be allowed to compete with people in wheelchairs in the paralympics or the NY Marathon. I know that for some competitions they break up the athletes into different divisions by the level of function. T5’s won’t compete against the T12’s.

Of course anybody could play a sport in a wheelchair, but I would question the mental state of anyone without some kind of disability that just wanted to compete in a wheelchair to beat on all of us that really have to be in one. (Hypothetical, I know. I’m just saying.)

My WAG - it might not make a difference. After all, I would imagine most people who can walk don’t spend all their waking hours wheeling around in a wheelchair, building up their strength and wheelchairing-ability. And it’s probably not quite as simple as “just push the wheels really fast” - you have to maneuver as well, most likely. In conclusion: if I just sat myself down in a wheelchair and tried to compete in wheelchair sports, I’d make a fool of myself.

… unless you were talking about competing on foot - I bet they DO have rules against that… heh heh.

A coworker of mine a few years ago was wheelchair bound for 18 months after an automobile accident. He tried out for and made the Orlando Magic’s wheelchair basketball team. After he was able to walk (with quite a limp), he continued to play for the team. One year, he was the third highest scorer in the United States, all the while being able to walk. He told me anyone could play as long as they were belted into the chair.

If it is allowed then it is pretty unfair due to the advantage that the able-bodied person might have in training. You could draw the analogy of someone who used performance enhancing drugs for training sessions but not in competition. The competitor still has an advantage over others despite the fact that the actual competition situations are identical.

What makes you assume he’d win? I’d guess somebody who spends, what 60 minutes (?) in a wheelchair wouldn’t compare in a wheelchair-sport to someone who spends 24/7 in one. I’d think you’d kick his ass -hands down!

I would think someone who had a legitimate handicap would have an unfair advantage since they could park closer to the court.