Paralympian Forced To Use Duct-Tape After Competitor ‘Sabotaged’ His Wheelchair Still Wins Gold
A Paralympian who believes his wheelchair was sabotaged ahead of his event has said he ‘got [his] revenge’ by winning gold in the men’s 100m T51.
Belgium’s Peter Genyn arrived for his pre-race warmups at Tokyo 2020 on Friday, September 3, to discover the chair he was set to use had ‘three flat tyres and a broken compensator’.
With just two hours until the final began and 45 minutes to go until the warm-ups, Genyn and his team scrambled to try and fix the chair and ensure the athlete would still be able to compete.
Speaking to Olympic Information Services, per The Japan Times, Genyn said he’d discovered a ‘flat front tyre’ the previous day, and that it had ‘looked like a knife but [his team] didn’t want to believe it’.
He reiterated his beliefs about the broken chair to Belgian broadcaster Sporza when he described it as ‘pure sabotage’, adding: ‘Someone must have been very scared. It was terrible, I really thought it was over. But I’m glad I was able to show that they can’t even win this way. You have to be a loser to do something like that.’
Using ‘parts from different chairs and a lot of duct tape’, Genyn and his team were able to make the chair usable in time for the race, where the Paralympian set a new record of 20.33 seconds to take home the Gold.
Per Paralympic.org, he commented: ‘Thankfully I’m a maniac about my equipment and I had lots of spares. And I got my revenge.’
In the wake of the events, Team Belgium has reportedly filed complaints with the organisers of Tokyo 2020 as well as the International Paralympic Committee.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]