DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Thousands of athletes from all over the world are pouring into Los Angeles this week for this year’s Special Olympics World Games.
It’s an event that has lost some of its excitement for Allen and Linda Douglas, who feel they’re daughter is being treated unfairly.
Allen and Linda say they were told by officials with Special Olympics USA that their 25-year-old daughter Allison could not march in opening ceremonies, go to training camp or stay in dorms with other athletes.
Allison will still be able to compete in three equestrian events, but her parents feel like their daughter is being discriminated against because she suffers from seizures.
"The entire Special Olympics are about inclusion,” Allen said. “It's about hope. It's about love. It's about the things that we celebrate that they can do."
"We think they've lost track a little bit of what this is all about,” he said. “It is the athletes and providing for these athletes the best experience they can have."
The family did reach a compromise with Special Olympics USA which would allow Allison to be a part of the opening ceremony but only if she's in a wheelchair, wearing a seat belt and a helmet.
Amie Dugan, director of marketing for Special Olympics USA, sent this statement to FOX 8.
“Special Olympics USA has recommended a course of action that will allow Ms. Douglas to experience participating in the opening ceremony parade of athletes with her teammates while also taking the measures professional medical personnel have advised are in the best interest of Ms. Douglas' health and safety, in support of her unique medical condition.”