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That Mind-Blowing' Numbers of Athletes Fake Disabilities to Win Paralympics Medals is the Least Mind-Blowing Reveal of All Time

This report from Australia blows the lid off a what they propose is the shocking discovery of widespread scandal in the Paralympic Games. Too long;didn't watch, here are the highlights:

Source - Paralympic athletes are exaggerating their impairments in order to win medals, according to an investigation by the ABC's Four Corners program.

Former athletes and officials have called for fundamental reform, describing a culture under which classification rules were regularly bent and broken, with few punishments for those prepared to exploit a weak system.

The scandal threatens the credibility of the Games, which is the world's third-biggest sporting event, generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue. 

High-ranking officials have expressed concern about 'intentional misrepresentation' of disabilities, with one stating that 'the system does not work' and another saying there were 'no repercussions for those who cheat. ...'

'The level of misrepresentation that started to take place after 2009 was quite mind-blowing in some sports and particularly … swimming,' [medical director for the Australian Paralympic team Jane Buckley] said. 

'I was told to turn a blind eye, to let it go.'

She described the practice of athletes misrepresenting the severity of their disability was 'almost an inside joke' in the Paralympic movement. ...

The most infamous instance of cheating at the Paralympics came when Spain fielded a men's basketball team with no disabilities at the event in Sydney in 2000. ...

The story broke in November 2000 when Carlos Ribagorda, a member of Spain's gold medal-winning intellectually handicapped basketball team in Sydney, claimed that he and other athletes in categories such as track and field, table tennis and swimming were not mentally deficient.

'Of the 200 Spanish athletes at Sydney at least 15 had no type of physical or mental handicap - they didn't even pass medical or psychological examinations,' he wrote in the magazine Capital just days after the Paralympics ended.

With all due respect to the people who worked on this legitimately fine piece of journalism, are we supposed to be surprised by this? That athletes cheat while competing is supposed to alarm us? We have a word for that here in the States. We call that "sports." Finding out that the participants in a competition that ends in "-lympics," is the world third biggest sporting event and generates tens of millions of dollars is like finding out there's more in the bloodstream of the Triple Crown horses than just hay. It's like discovering supplements in the pee of the Mr. Universe finalists. Or spotting saline implants under the gowns at a pageant. It's obvious to the point of rendering an investigation unnecessary. 

Oh, is this all because we're talking about a competition meant for disabled athletes? 

Giphy Images.

One of the major reasons to have an Olympics featuring athletes with disabilities is to demonstrate the shared humanity of us all. That they are no different than more able-bodied athletes. Driven by the same competitive fire. Inspired and inspiring in the same way as those with fewer challenges, and all that. Well what better proof could you ask for than the knowledge they're the same cheating, lying, dishonest dirtbags the regular Olympians are? 

Expecting the Paralympians to live up to some utopian ideal of honor and integrity when the Russians are sending roided-up teenagers onto the ice:

… is ridiculous. Did we mention the tens of millions of dollars up for grabs? Do we really expect that Spain's team would say, "Sure, we COULD send a team of talented, fully able-bodied basketball players with no intellectual difficulties to Sydney. They'd for sure have a huge, unfair advantage and mostly likely win gold. And they'll end up making money from endorsement deals and appearance fees. But that would be WRONG …"? I don't know if there's a world where that line of thinking would happen; I just know for sure we're not living in it.

In case you haven't caught on by now, let me clue you in: Humans are shitty. We are despicable, hairless monkeys who don't let a little think like taking unfair advantage of people with legitimate disabilities get in the way of our own self-aggrandizement. How many times do we have to hear about someone faking cancer just to raise money for a boob job or whatever before we figure that out? I mean, the stories of families renting a wheelchair at Disney just to cut to the front of every line are legendary. I read one once where this one collection of inbred hillbillies put a different family member in the chair at every ride, and one of them hopped out to go climb the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. And I'm sure that group had a lot more fun that day that the poor dopes who waited for hours in the hot sun playing by the rules like suckers. How did the article put it? "No repercussions for those who cheat." 

Eric Cartman was once the embodiment of awful human behavior. The fictional character we could point to and feel morally superior to him in every way. Because we're all good people who would never, say, try to pass as developmentally disabled in order to get into Special Olympics:

Now? He's the new normal. Be proud of those medals you'll win by gaming the system at Paris 2024 next year, frauds. And as for the Paralympics itself, it's sort of refreshing to learn they're just as corrupt as the regular Olympics.