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2 March 2011, 10:59 am
IFDS Support Argo Challenge
Argo Challenge Moto

International Association For Disabled Sailing
Argo Challenge

The International Association for Disabled Sailing is delighted to support the efforts of the Argo Challenge to develop a racing team for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.
Behind the motto of 'WeCanUCan', the project is about challenging the common concept of "normality", bringing it beyond the usual understanding of everyday life.

One of Argo Challenges goals is to show the world that it is possible to reach great objectives even if one is disabled, and that in sport, like in life, barriers can be overcome if one is determined, passionate, and professional and work in a great team.

As the project moves forward, awareness of the campaign and disabled sailing is evident as Dr Destrube, Chair, IFDS Medical Committee and IFDS Vice-President states, "Athletes with disabilities often compensate for their disabilities in unbelievable ways. Most are much more capable than able-bodied individuals.

"I spoke with a very well known blind sailor the other day. He finds that it is the able-bodied people, trying to over compensate for him, who are slower to get from one side to the other than he is.

"He is a better trimmer because he has trained himself to sense pressure differentials, changes in air temperature and smells.

"He is often asked to do overnight races because he is always functioning at 100%. In his world it is always dark, so he is better on the foredeck at night than anyone and better in the galley during the graveyard shift.

"Likewise, anyone on crutches or in a wheelchair that has use of his/her arms is probably stronger than most able-bodied athletes.

"Paralympians often perform better on physical fitness tests than the Olympians. Their upper body and core strength is often superior.

"Granted, some muscles and nerves don't fire, but the ones that do are always getting a workout.

"As for agility, I know of a construction worker and above the knee amputee who can get around a boat faster than anyone."

The goal is to develop a team of able bodied and disabled sailors in the mission of inclusion, equity and opportunity for disabled sailors.

And IFDS look forward to supporting Argo Challenge as the project moves forward.

Argo Challenge Website.

Dr Bernard Destrubé. IFDS Medical Committee and an IFDS Vice-President
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