Senate Approves Allard Amendment

In Sports, Wheelin' and Dealin' by Beth Bourgeois

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved legislation introduced by Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) that will allow members of the U.S. armed forces who have sustained permanent physical disabilities and remain on active duty to participate in U.S. Paralympics programs and competitions as a part of the 2006 Defense Authorization bill.

“Members of the U.S. armed forces who have sustained physical disabilities now may opt to remain on active duty once their rehabilitation is complete, and more and more of them are choosing to do so,” Senator Allard said. “This provision will allow such individuals to participate in the World Class Athlete Program, so that these valiant Americans can take part in athletic events such as the summer and winter Paralympics Games.”

“We already allow – and encourage – members of the U.S. armed forces to train for and participate in the Olympics and the Pan American games,” the Senator said. “There is no reason why those who have incurred disabilities while fighting for their country shouldn’t be able to pursue that same dream of athletic excellence.”

U.S. Paralympics is a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. It was created to focus efforts on enhancing programs for persons with physical disabilities, and supports eligible athletes

with coaching, training, and competition assistance in preparation for the Summer and Winter Paralympics Games.