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NH governor joins clamor over exclusion of swimmer

Tuesday - 8/13/2013, 11:00pm  ET

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2013 file photo, Victoria Arlen, of Exeter, Vt., reacts after setting a new Paralympic record after she swam in a women's 100-meter freestyle S6 heat at the 2012 Paralympics games in London. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has joined others including the state's two U.S. senators in criticizing a decision by the International Paralympic Committee barring Arlen from the games because her disability isn't considered permanent. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire's governor is adding her voice to those disappointed by the exclusion of a disabled teenage swimmer from this week's Paralympic World Swimming Championships in Montreal.

Gov. Maggie Hassan (HAS'-uhn) joins others including the state's two U.S. senators in criticizing a decision by the International Paralympic Committee barring Exeter resident Victoria Arlen from the games because her disability isn't considered permanent.

Arlen was paralyzed from the waist down due to illness seven years ago. She resumed competitive swimming at the age of 16. At last year's Paralympics in London she set a world record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and silver medals in three other races.

Hassan calls the last-minute ban on Arlen's participation "unconscionable and patently unfair."

The Germany-based International Paralympic Committee tells WMUR-TV it is sticking to its rules.


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