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BRITISH Paralympic swimmer Will Perry called for more education to combat the verbal abuse he receives over his dwarfism today.
The 21-year-old, who represented Team GB in the Men’s S6 100m freestyle in Tokyo this summer, says he went from experiencing “the most special time in my life” to being ridiculed on his return from the Games.
Perry, who has a common form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, has spoken of the anger he feels after being filmed and laughed at in the street on a daily basis.
Perry cited on social media the example of being ridiculed by three teenage girls as he shopped in a supermarket.
“In total honesty I wanted to cry,” he wrote on Instagram earlier this month. “There are so many occasions when I’m just consistently reminded that to some, my presence in life is a joke, me living life to some is actually hilarious. Why should this be?”
Perry told BBC Breakfast: “When I wrote this I got really angry but the really fantastic thing is the reaction I got, knowing how many people are standing behind me.
“It’s really good to educate – so many people are innocent, they just don’t know this is happening.
“Education is key but we can only do that every four years, the other three years we’re pretty irrelevant.
“I’m trying my hardest to fight it, at the moment we’ve got to stand together and fight our cause.
“It’s difficult to offer advice, at the moment spreading the word seems to work but we need a long-term solution.
“I’ve been brought up to take it on the chin, I’ve been told we can’t change it and that I’ve got to be strong.
“But we shouldn’t have to, we go through enough difficulties in life as it is, we should be able to blend in.
“It’s about standing together, we’ve come so far on things like Black Lives matter, on religion, on everything, this is something we’ve missed out on. When the whole public get behind this, everyone realises it’s not acceptable.”
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