NH governor joins clamor over exclusion of swimmer

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s governor is adding her voice to those disappointed by the exclusion of a disabled teenage swimmer from this week’s Paralympic World Swimming Championships in Montreal.

Gov. Maggie Hassan joins others including the state’s two U.S. senators in criticizing a decision by the International Paralympic Committee barring Exeter resident Victoria Arlen from the games because her disability isn’t considered permanent.

Arlen was paralyzed from the waist down due to illness seven years ago. She resumed competitive swimming at the age of 16. At last year’s Paralympics in London she set a world record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and silver medals in three other races.

Hassan calls the last-minute ban on Arlen’s participation “unconscionable and patently unfair.”

The Germany-based International Paralympic Committee hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment.

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