September 5, 2021 by archyde
PostedSeptember 5, 2021, 10:24 AM
Belgian Peter Genyn found his wheelchair with the broken frame and three flat tires 45 minutes before the 100m final. With his staff, he repaired it in record time and offered himself one at the same time.
Archive: Peter Genyn after his gold medal in the 400m wheelchair race final – T51 at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, September 16, 2016.
Sportsmanship is not given to all athletes. Belgian sprinter Peter Genyn paid the price in Tokyo on Friday. Less than an hour before taking part in the 100 meters Paralympic final in the T51 category, he discovered his wheelchair in a very dirty condition.
Indeed, vandals had broken its frame and three tires had been punctured. After the shock of finding his equipment in this state, the one who had won the title in Rio and many other players did everything to ensure that he could participate in the race. But the story is well done, as he explained to RTBF after his race, very moved by his medal and his record (20.33 seconds):
“Everyone worked hard to patch this up. I am so proud and happy to have been able to count on everyone, even on other delegations. In the end, the chair was repaired with tape! It was very emotional to be able to win, given the circumstances. I had never experienced it before. I think it’s because one of my opponents hates to lose. I have no idea who it could be… ”
Not a first
Another member of the Belgian delegation, Roger Habsch, who distinguished himself by winning a bronze medal, had experienced the same injustice a day before. In his case, the wheels of his chair were no longer aligned and the tires had also been damaged.
Also contacted by French-speaking Belgian television, her coach says “she has never known that” before. She also explains having killed the case because it had intervened at the same time as the discomfort of Joachim Gérard, Belgian wheelchair tennis athlete.
The federation will file a complaint
The happy ending of this story in no way reduces the seriousness of the unsportsmanlike act. After these misadventures, the Belgian Paralympic Committee announced that it had started the process to lodge an official complaint with the local organizing committee of the Games and the International Paralympic Committee. The idea is “to make this kind of thing no longer possible in the future”.