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Paralympics inspires ordinary Australians to acquire disabilities

[Edition 30] SYDNEY, Thursday: Just as the Olympic Games inspired many Sydneysiders to join gyms in an effort to emulate the toned physiques of their heroes, hospital emergency rooms across the city are reporting a sharp increase in business as Sydneysiders rush out and make themselves eligible to compete in future Paralympic Games.

[Edition 30] SYDNEY, Thursday: Just as the Olympic Games inspired many Sydneysiders to join gyms in an effort to emulate the toned physiques of their heroes, hospital emergency rooms across the city are reporting a sharp increase in business as Sydneysiders rush out and make themselves eligible to compete in future Paralympic Games.

One high-profile convert to Paralympic competition is the sprinter Matt Shirvington, who jumped into a shallow pond last week and snapped his spinal cord at the lower back. “I’ve always wanted to crack the ten second barrier for the 100m” said Shirvington. “After the Sydney Games I’d begun to give up hope but now I’m in a wheelchair, I can do the hundred in eight seconds. Eat my skid marks, Maurice Greene!”.

Shirvington’s coach has welcomed the move, which he regards as the best possible solution to the ankle injury that has plagued his charge, but warned that a mysterious shoulder injury may come into play when Shirvington next loses form.

Another happy new Paralympian is Seven Hills butcher Ralph Arjubian, who amputated his own arm in order to become a Paralympic swimmer, and is confident of representing Australia at the Athens Games. Arjubian has offered to use his good arm to help out anyone who would like to swim alongside him in the relay team. “I always thought it would be kind of a bummer to only have one arm,” Arjubian said. “But after the Paralympics taught me that glory that comes from triumphing over adversity, I figured I’d better go and get myself some adversity to triumph over.”

Many countries around the world have also been working extensively over the years to develop their Paralympic teams. East Timor now boasts a formidable array of disabled athletes thanks to the various pro-integration militia groups, while the Taliban’s ruthless application of Sharia has seen Afghan athletes dominating the amputee classes of all male events.

Several Paralympians have criticised the trend, however. Australian hero Louise Sauvage reminded people considering disability that it involves various serious inconveniences as well as the opportunity to win Paralympic medals. Sauvage reiterated her belief that the ability to walk is not generally underrated, though walker Jane Saville disputed the claim.

Further, some critics have pointed out that if everyone competes in the Paralympics, the Olympics will become “an exercise in denial” – a token attempt to pretend that able-bodied athletes are able to compete in the same way that disabled athletes can.