Eliminate the Maximum Effort Rule at State of Ohio Special Olympics Swimming

Eliminate the Maximum Effort Rule at State of Ohio Special Olympics Swimming

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Darlene Durbak started this petition to State of Ohio Special Olympics athletes and families

Seventy-two swimmers were disqualified in the recent State of Ohio Special Olympics meet because they swam too fast. Many times less than a second too fast. The Maximum  Effort Rule was enforced for the first time with very little communication and preparation.

The Maximum Effort Rule states that if an athlete swims more than 15% faster at the state meet than at the regional they are disqualified.

That means 72 times, athletes were stripped of gold, silver and bronze medals.  Instead they were placed at the end of the line of athletes and only received a participation ribbon. Many tears were shed. And again, many races were less than one second too fast!

I'm starting this petition because I cannot watch my daughter swim her best, see her name up on the scoreboard in first place and then be told she was disqualified. For a rule that she will never understand. I am starting this fight also for all the other swimmers who lost and will in the future lose medals over this rule. In the world of typical swimmers, it is celebrated when a swimmer achieves their personal best at a meet and wins. Why is this not true for our Special Olympics athletes?

Their motto is”Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”. How can an athlete win, have their medal taken away, and still be brave?

Please support this petition so that something as awesome as Special Olympics swimming competitions can be fair and our athletes can celebrate their accomplishments!

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