An American swimmer will be able to take part in the qualifying heats of the 400-meter freestyle at the Paralympics in London, while waiting to learn if she'll be allowed to compete for a medal.
LONDON (AP) - An American swimmer will be able to take part in the qualifying heats of the 400-meter freestyle at the Paralympics in London, while waiting to learn if she'll be allowed to compete for a medal.
Organizers ruled earlier this week that Victoria Arlen's impairment didn't fit a classification for the games. The 17-year-old from New Hampshire returned to swimming last year after a neurological virus affected her spinal cord in 2006, leaving her in a vegetative state for two years.
After the International Paralympic Committee ruled Monday that she couldn't compete, the U.S. Paralympic Committee launched an appeal.
A spokesman for the international panel says the governing body could wait to see Arlen compete before reaching a verdict.
Swimmers at the Paralympics are allocated into classes based on the severity of their disability. Evidence received by the IPC resulted in the ruling that Arlen no longer fit into any of the classes.
In all, 40 athletes had their classifications changed before the start of the games -- including American swimmers Justin Zook and Mallory Weggemann. They have won 10 Paralympic gold medals between them.
(KFGO File Photo)