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Stop using the Paralympics as “inspiration porn”—they’re elite sports stars

Being an elite athlete is inspiring—but for many people, being disabled is just part of everyday life. It's time to change our representation to reflect that

By Simon Alvey  

Paralympians are inspiring—because they're Olymp Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

There is an elite sporting competition taking place in South Korea right now. Maybe you’ve encountered it as “the inspiration we needed to get up and kick ass today.” Maybe you’ve heard there’s “no event in the world more inspiring,” or seen a YouTube compilation of “Inspiring Paralympians to Watch.”

As the competition of Winter Paralympics begins this week much of the coverage won’t focus on the hard-fought competition but on the patronising concept of “inspiration.”

A familiar…

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