This study compared and explored the textual coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (OG) and Paralympic Games (PG) by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. The authors found 8 high-order themes and 25 low-order themes for the OG. The high-order themes were predicting game results, reporting game results, athleticism, politics, ethical issues, nationalism, the media, and the economy. For the PG, there were 4 high-order themes, and each high-order theme had 1 low-order theme. The high-order themes were reporting game results, athleticism, ethical issues, and equality between Paralympians and Olympians. Comparisons between OG and PG coverage are discussed and recommendations for future research provided.
Ik Young Chang, Jane Crossman, Jane Taylor and Diane Walker
Marie Lund Ohlsson, Jonas Danvind and L. Joakim Holmberg
joint and the glenohumeral joint were modeled as spherical joints with no sliding. Therefore, no muscle activation was needed for translational stabilization of the joint. If sliding had been included in the model, the relative muscle forces might have been different. To conclude, for female able-bodied
Keith Henschen, Michael Horvat and Ron French
The purpose of this study was to visually compare the psychological profile of 33 male wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field events, with previous results of able-bodied athletes. Based on the data gathered using the Profile of Mood States and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory the wheelchair athletes demonstrated a profile similar to that of able-bodied athletes. This finding was discussed in terms of mental skills that may be developed by wheelchair athletes because of their injuries, possible influence of medication, and higher level of demonstrated anger.
Considering that the human body is made for movement, it is a universally accepted fact that sports are one of the activities that are extremely healthy for man. Unlike the machines invented by man, the human machine deteriorates with inactivity. (Monnazzi, 1982, p. 85)
Kenneth S. Clarke
Sports have value to the individual, and the atypical individual with a disability merits the same opportunity to pursue these values as the so-called able-bodied. Sports therefore are justified on the assumption that they serve as a medium for developing desirable attitudes and behavior that contribute to the fullest utilization of one’s own health. Today’s sport leaders see a two-prong approach to the organization of these opportunities: (a) down with the barriers that keep the atypical athlete from participating and competing with the able-bodied athletes when talent and commitment are equal to the challenge, and (b) up with the sport programs from which, were it not for these adaptations, those with disabilities could not benefit from the values of sport participation.
Marilyn A. Cooper, Claudine Sherrill and David Marshall
Attitudes toward physical activity were examined in relation to sports classification (nonambulatory vs. ambulatory) and gender for elite cerebral palsied athletes and were compared to attitudes of elite Canadian able-bodied athletes (Alderman, 1970). Subjects were 165 CP adult athletes who competed in the 1983 National CP Games, Ft. Worth, Texas. Data were collected by interview on the Simon and Smoll Attitude Toward Physical Activity Scale (SATPA). SATPA answers were treated with MANOVA and ANOVA, and the Scheffé test was used for post hoc analysis. No significant difference was found among class, gender, and class-by-gender combinations in attitudes toward physical activity. Adult CP athletes have positive attitudes toward the total concept of physical activity, but are significantly less favorably disposed to physical activity as a thrill and as long and hard training than as social experience, health and fitness, beauty, and tension release.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Danielle Peers
The inclusion of able-bodied athletes within disability sport, a phenomenon known as reverse integration, has sparked significant debate within adapted physical activity. Although researchers and practitioners have taken up positions for or against reverse integration, there is a lack of supporting research on the experiences of athletes who already play in such settings. In this study, we explore how competitive female athletes who have a disability experience reverse integration in Canadian wheelchair basketball. Athletic identity was used as the initial conceptual framework to guide semistructured interviews with nine participants. The results suggest that participation in this context contributed to positive athletic identities. Interviews also pointed to the unexpected theme of “what’s the difference?” that this sporting context provided a space for the questioning and creative negotiation of the categories of disability and able-bodiedness. Methodologically, this paper also explores the possibilities and challenges of inter- worldview and insider-outsider research collaboration.
David Welch Suggs Jr. and Jason Lee Guthrie
Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society” by exposing people to adaptive sports, with the goal of improving public views toward people with disabilities. The authors hypothesized that exposure to parasocial contact with images of athletes with disabilities could lead to a change in attitude during the formation of social identity, disrupting the tendency to view the population of individuals with physical disabilities as “other. ” This case study found that viewing a documentary of a Paralympic sprinter produced in the same style as an Olympic feature appeared to affect the emotional components of attitude formation, especially when compared with respondents who viewed a comparable documentary about an able-bodied athlete. These findings are of interest to proponents of adaptive sports, producers of adaptive-sports media, and marketers who use athletes with disabilities in advertising campaigns.
Gerda Strutzenberger, Adam Brazil, Timothy Exell, Hans von Lieres und Wilkau, John D. Davies, Steffen Willwacher, Johannes Funken, Ralf Müller, Kai Heinrich, Hermann Schwameder, Wolfgang Potthast and Gareth Irwin
Context: In sprint events, the first 2 steps are used to accelerate the center of mass horizontally and vertically. Amputee athletes cannot actively generate energy with their running-specific prosthesis. It is likely that sprint acceleration mechanics, including step asymmetry, are altered compared with able-bodied athletes. Purpose : To investigate spatiotemporal and kinetic variables of amputee compared with able-bodied sprinters. Methods: Kinematic and kinetic data of the first and second stance were collected from 15 able-bodied and 7 amputee sprinters (2 unilateral transfemoral, 4 unilateral transtibial, and 1 bilateral transtibial) with a motion-capture system (250 Hz) and 2 force plates (1000 Hz). In addition, bilateral asymmetry was quantified and compared between groups. Results: Compared with able-bodied athletes, amputee athletes demonstrated significantly lower performance values for 5- and 10-m times. Step length, step velocity, and step frequency were decreased and contact times increased. Peak horizontal force and relative change of horizontal velocity were decreased in both stances. Peak vertical force and relative change of vertical velocity were lower for the amputee than the able-bodied group during the first stance but significantly higher during the second stance. During the first stance, able-bodied and amputee sprinters displayed a similar orientation of the ground-reaction-force vector, which became more vertically orientated in the amputee group during second stance. Amputee sprinters showed significantly greater asymmetry magnitudes for vertical force kinetics compared with able-bodietd athletes. Conclusion: A running-specific prosthesis does not replicate the function of the biological limb well in the early acceleration phase.
Justine J. Reel, Robert A. Bucciere and Sonya SooHoo
Individuals with intellectual disabilities are largely marginalized within society and are understudied as a group (Reel & Bucciere, 2011). Although there have been numerous body image studies with able-bodied athletes, this study represents the first attempt to explore body image of male and female Special Olympics athletes. Athletes (N = 103) were 18–61 years of age (M = 33.34; SD = 11.20) and represented mild to moderate severity for diagnosable intellectual disabilities. Height and weight were measured to determine body mass index (BMI). Body image was verbally assessed via individual interviews using the Figure Ratings Scale and open-ended items. Female athletes had a significantly higher BMI (M = 33.02, SD = 9.28) than male athletes (M = 28.24, SD = 7.38). The BMI means for the female and male athletes met the classifications for obese and overweight, respectively. There was also a negative relationship between body satisfaction and BMI in the overall sample (r = -.46), male athletes only (r = -.51), and female athletes only (r = -.38, indicating that higher BMI was associated with lower body satisfaction. Descriptive statistics revealed that 51% of female athletes and 37% of male athletes desired a thinner physique, whereas 20% of female athletes and 29.6% of male athletes wanted to be larger. There were no significant gender differences in levels of overall body dissatisfaction in this study.
Ben T. Stephenson, Christof A. Leicht, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey
Purpose: In able-bodied athletes, several hormonal, immunological, and psychological parameters are commonly assessed in response to intensified training due to their potential relationship to acute fatigue and training/nontraining stress. This has yet to be studied in Paralympic athletes. Methods: A total of 10 elite paratriathletes were studied for 5 wk around a 14-d overseas training camp whereby training load was 137% of precamp levels. Athletes provided 6 saliva samples (1 precamp, 4 during camp, and 1 postcamp) for cortisol, testosterone, and secretory immunoglobulin A; weekly psychological questionnaires (Profile of Mood State [POMS] and Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes [RESTQ-Sport]); and daily resting heart rate and subjective wellness measures including sleep quality and quantity. Results: There was no significant change in salivary cortisol, testosterone, cortisol:testosterone ratio, or secretory immunoglobulin A during intensified training (P ≥ .090). Likewise, there was no meaningful change in resting heart rate or subjective wellness measures (P ≥ .079). Subjective sleep quality and quantity increased during intensified training (P ≤ .003). There was no significant effect on any POMS subscale other than lower anger (P = .049), whereas there was greater general recovery and lower sport and general stress from RESTQ-Sport (P ≤ .015). Conclusions: There was little to no change in parameters commonly associated with the fatigued state, which may relate to the training-camp setting minimizing external life stresses and the careful management of training loads from coaches. This is the first evidence of such responses in Paralympic athletes.