Dwarfs stand tall at Rio paralympics

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RIO DE JANEIRO : Dwarfs at the Rio Paralympics are getting the big stage they say they deserve.
Competitors in the women s 400m swimming this week cited Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf anti-hero of hit TV series “Game of Thrones,” as a breakthrough in pushing back against centuries of mockery or ignorance.
And in Rio de Janeiro — from the pool to the athletics stadium — they re taking the fight for respect to new levels.
“People are starting to realize that we re a lot more capable of, you know, greatness than most people would perceive us to be because of our height,” US swimmer Reilly Boyt, 20, told AFP.
Boyt, who has a noe stud and wears tiny star earings, remembers far fewer dwarfs at the 2012 London Paralympics and “almost nobody” at the World Championships in 2013.
“It s awesome,” she said of the Rio Games, “because you re competing against people just like you.”
On the starting blocks, the diminutive size of the women is startling. Once they dive in, however, the effect of the water and the whirring arms and legs made them appear abruptly different — a lot bigger.
“Like giants,” Boyt says with satisfaction.