“Sport for good!”, the phrase may look motivating in books but it has proved to be quite opposite in real world and we can prove the surety about this by the treatment being noticed for the sports persons with a disability.
It is discriminating!
Iranian powerlifter and two-time Paralympic gold medallist Siamand Rahman was treated unfairly at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte Carlo on Tuesday night.
The 170-kilo genial giant, born with a congenital abnormality that affected his legs, was seen seated in a corner of a large hall at the Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte Carlo, the venue of Laureus World Sports Awards on a starlit Tuesday night.
While almost all world superstar nominees and celebrities like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Nico Rosberg, Michael Johnson, Ruud Gullit, Sergei Bubka, Simone Biles, Nadia Comaneci et al, occupied a large area in front of the main dais, Siamand Rahman quietly wheel-chaired in with an assistant to seat himself in one of the cramped tables far from the spotlight.
Rahman was dressed in a beige-coloured shirt and a matching blazer with his country’s name embroidered on it.
Sadly, all the attention was given to the Bolts, Phelps, Rosbergs and the Biles though the 28-year-old Iranian, produced the best weightlifting performance in Rio 2016 when he lifted a world record 310 kg to take gold in the men’s over 100 kg event.
British actor Hugh Grant, host of the show had no clue that there was an exceptional world record holder present in one obscure corner of a star-studded hall. Grant’s briefing by the show organisers surely did not mention the Iranian champion.
Siamand Rahman, who made global headlines after becoming the first Paralympian to lift over 300 kg, was not even properly attended to.
Forget about champagne, not even a glass of water was offered to him!
It was when the nominees for the Sportspersons of the Year with a disability came up, did Rahman’s achievement briefly flashed on the big screens across the hall.
The Italian fencer, dressed in vermilion red, too has an incredible life story. The only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, Beatrice struck (foil) gold in Rio 2016 by beating China’s Jingjing Zhao.
In late 2008, “Bebe”, as she is fondly called, lost both her hands and legs due to a terrible cell or tissue disorder, medically termed as Necrosis.
After a video revealed Beatrice’s life journey as a sportsperson, she won the biggest applause of the night and a standing ovation that the 19-year-old richly deserved.