Expert available to comment on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Paralympic athletes

The recent release of the Canadian COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group Report demonstrated that while the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the lives and health of all Canadians, it has disproportionately impacted Canadians with disabilities.

Laura Misener

Laura Misener

For athletes hoping to attend the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and beyond, the effects have also been disproportionate, according to Western University’s Laura Misener.

An executive member of Western’s renowned International Centre for Olympic Studies, Misener says there is great reliance on services for Paralympians such as physical and occupational therapy, mental health support, training facilities and maintenance of disability/sport aids.

“Paralympic athletes are not a homogeneous population and many have underlying health conditions and health needs which represent varying degrees of individual athlete’s risk. This becomes exacerbated when discussing the support personnel and related support needs in Games for some Paralympic athletes. The road to Tokyo is certainly rocky,” said Misener, Director of Western University’s School of Kinesiology.

Misener, an expert on social impact of sport and events, disability in sport and Paralympic, physical activity, and health promotion, is available to media for comment.

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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