Chris Barbour Cognitive Disability Essay

431 Words2 Pages
I knew he would win. When Chris demolished Mike Barbour in the swimming competition, he demonstrated what I already knew: a cognitive disability does not limit one’s athletic ability. After all, Mike Barbour’s athletic skill is irrelevant when it comes to swimming. “If you’re going to be a swimmer you gotta swim” (Crutcher 260). I think it’s important to note that before Chris was on the swim team, I didn’t know much about him besides that he had a mental disability and that his late brother was destined for athletic greatness. However, once Chris joined the swim team I began to notice that the apple did not fall far from the tree. Like his brother, Chris also has superb athletic ability, and though his mental handicap has limited his ability to learn the different types of strokes, he has made up for it with natural talent. Throughout his time on the team Chris has shown that his cognitive disability has not hindered his athletic prowess; in fact, “Chris probably has the best natural stroke on the…show more content…
From a young age society teaches us that people like Chris are second-class citizens, and just because they have disability they are therefore inferior both mentally as well as physically. And though it’s not right, a lot of people seem to think that way, including Mike Barbour and Rich Marshall. This learned ignorance in which we have grown so accustomed is the reason why Chris has been stuck in the back of the classroom his whole life. “We sat in rows, the person with the best grades in the front seat to his far left, moving down the academic gradient to Chris Coughlin in the back seat of the right-hand row” (Crutcher 128). This kind of derogatory behavior can be seen throughout the whole life of Chris Coughlin, and even though he wanted to learn and participate, he wasn’t able to due to being viewed as

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