New U.S. ruling gives all athletes a fair shot

11:59 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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BEREA -- Fifteen-year-old Casey Followay has never let his disability stop him. A birth defect caused paralysis in his legs.

The only hurdle he has run into is the word "no."

Casey started wheelchair racing when he was 8. He trains 90 minutes a day.

He earned a spot on his high school track team but he can't compete with able-footed runners. Instead, he has to run by himself.

But that will now change.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education ruled disabled athletes must be given a fair chance to compete with other athletes as long as they don't get an advantage.

Casey will compete in the 100, 400 and 800 meters.

He may not win those races, but Friday's victory will give him a chance.  

Friday's ruling could have the same impact as Title IX did 40 years ago, which allowed women and girls the same chance at sports as the boys.

Athletes in individual sports like track, wrestling and swimming will compete together. Other sports, like basketball and sled hockey, must have teams formed for those who want to play.


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