Paralyzed US Swimmer Banned From Paralympics ... For not being "paralyzed enough"
Victoria Arlen slipped into a three-year coma after experiencing flu-like symptoms at age 11. When she awoke, she was paralyzed from the waist down because of an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nerves in the spine.
The wheelchair-bound 18-year-old from Exeter, N.H., went on to find strength in the swimming pool, where she won four medals, including gold and broke her own record in one event at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
But her family, coaches and even her governor and two senators were outraged this week by a decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to disqualify the teen from the Paralympic Swimming World Championships in Montreal after ruling that her condition is not permanent.
"I am keeping my head held high and I am not bitter, discouraged or angry against them," said Arlen, who's in California clearing her head while visiting with her mother and boyfriend after the colossal disappointment.
"It is what it is," she told ABCNews.com. "There's not much I can do right now. It's in the hands of higher powered people."