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N.H. Governor: Exclusion Of Swimmer From Paralympics ‘Unconscionable’

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(L-R) Silver medalist Eleanor Simmonds of Great Britain, gold medalist Victoria Arlen of the United States and bronze medalist Tanja Groepper of Germany pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle - S6 final on day 10 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Aquatics Centre on September 8, 2012, in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

(L-R) Silver medalist Eleanor Simmonds of Great Britain, gold medalist Victoria Arlen of the United States and bronze medalist Tanja Groepper of Germany pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 100m Freestyle – S6 final on day 10 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Aquatics Centre on September 8, 2012, in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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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 joined 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 age 16. At last year’s Paralympics in London, she set a world record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle as well as 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 hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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