The official TikTok page for Paralympic Games reportedly made fun of athletes with physical disabilities, unlike the official page for the Olympics which highlights the feats achieved by their top stars.
According to Daily Dot, one of the videos posted on the official social media account was of an amputee cyclist shouting “left, left, left, left, left,” as he cycled without his right leg. It seemed to poke fun at the fact that the athlete could only use his left leg. Another one reportedly mocked the special allowances given to blind swimmers to help them avoid hitting pool walls. They are typically tapped on their head or shoulders. The video has background music of “Bop It” game sound.
A third video of a paralympic ping pong player showed him falling off his wheelchair. It had a background score of a distorted version of the Thomas the Train Engine theme song. This was not all. the admin of the account also took to the comments section and wrote the name of the athlete and “DERDERDERDER, DER DER, DER…”
The TikTok videos soon found themselves on Twitter as many users were confused or disgusted by the treatment of the specially-abled athletes in these posts.
“Bit weird that the [official] Paralympics TikTok has so many videos mocking their own athletes,” one user tweeted. “Allegedly a few Paralympians have spoken about the account and how they don’t appreciate the memes, they’d much rather be appreciated for their athleticism (and rightfully so considering how hard they work).”
Brenna Huckaby, a Paralympian commented on one of the videos saying she didn’t like the portrayal of Paralympians in the TikTok account. “I wish they showcased our athleticism more than the memes,” Huckaby wrote.