Originally written on Bob's Blitz  |  Last updated 11/17/14

18-year-old paralyzed swimmer Victoria Arlen won a gold medal and set a world record in the 2012 games. Now the International Paralympic Committee has ruled the New Hampshire ineligible to participate in the upcoming world championship in Montreal...because her injury is possibly not permanent because of the slim chance she might walk again. Victoria became unable to move her legs at age 11 after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that put her in a coma for two years. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that IPC Director of Media and Communications, Craig Spence, said there’s “no question that Victoria has an impairment at the moment,” but the committee found no “conclusive evidence of a permanent eligible impairment.” Dr. Michael Levy of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore clarified a report that indicated she may recover. “It will take many months to years to get Ms. Arlen back on her feet. I did not mean to imply that Ms. Arlen would be able to walk quickly,” Levy wrote. “Please do not misconstrue my plan as a statement of permanence of her disability.” “What kills me is their people have no experience with my daughter’s disease and have given an opinion. They’ve got every disability in this organization, but this is discrimination,” Arlen’s father, Larry, told ABC News of the decision. “It’s crazy.” "Being penalized for maybe having a glimmer of hope of one day being able to walk again is beyond sad. There's a chance everyone with a lot of rehab and different technologies, [...] there's hope," she said. "I'm always looking for hope, and I was basically penalized for having hope. What message are we giving the world when we don’t encourage hope for disabled individuals?” **Follow us on Twitter, View via Our Mobile Site, or Return to BobsBlitz.com.Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe or Return to Bob's Blitz.

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