Republican congressman Madison Cawthorn, one of the youngest racists to hold elected office is consistently full of absolute shit. Among the many falsehoods reportedly told by Cawthorn as he propped himself up as the star child of the GOP was a very casual lie about training for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, which actual Paralympians found adorable according to The Nation. One athlete, Amanda McGrory who medaled seven times at the Paralympics compared Cawthorn’s claims that he was training for the Paralympics to that of a “kid saying they want to play in the NBA when they’re on their fourth-grade basketball team.”
Cawthorn reportedly claimed on a podcast that prior to the announcement that there would be no Tokyo games that year, he was training for the Paralympics because he “had an opportunity” for track and field competition. However, the Paralympics isn’t some summer sports camp: It takes years of playing the same sport at a level of unmatched excellence to get noticed by scouts for Team USA and, eventually, a few more months of qualifying competitions to maybe get invited to train with the team. There is also a list created by the International Paralympics Committee, The Nation reports, that has the names of all athletes eligible to compete internationally, the severity of their disability, and their ranking in their sport. The name Madison Cawthorn does not appear on this list.
There was one positive outcome to a man who did not attend a school with an athletic program for disabled athletes and never appeared in a qualifying event for track and field lying about his opportunities: real Paralympians got a hearty chuckle out of it. Elite wheelchair racer, Robert Kozarek told The Nation that had Cawthorn actually been in consideration for the Paralympics, the two would have met each other already. “There’s probably 50 [elite wheelchair racers] in the entire country, and we see each other four, five, six times a year, at least.”
Cawthorn tracked his fictitious attempt at making it onto Team USA on his Instagram account which made it easier for actual Paralympians to get a much-needed laugh for the day.
Siemann admitted, a little sheepishly, that he and other elite athletes were aware of Cawthorn long before he ran for office. In fact, Cawthorn’s Instagram feed was a bit of a running joke. “[My teammates and I] would share whatever posts [Cawthorn] put up and be like, ‘Look at what batshit thing he said about the Paralympics this week.… The claims he was making were just so absurd, you have to find some humor in it.”
In a weird way, I kind of get it. Just the other day, I managed to do a crossover dribble without hitting myself in the kneecaps with the ball and called my mom to tell her I was training for the WNBA. However, the key thing here is that I have a firm grasp on reality, unlike Madison Cawthorn, who will likely announce his new “opportunity” to compete in the first elite wheelchair race on the Mars colony any day now.