project: world dwarf games
The World Dwarf Games, held every four years in a different country, originated in Chicago in 1993, and were organized by the Dwarf Athletic Association of America, a non-profit organization that provides athletic opportunities to people of short stature. Since then, the World Dwarf Games have been hosted in England, Canada, France, and Northern Ireland with the support of volunteers and philanthropic contributors.
World Games for Little People provide a setting with a realistic opportunity for persons of restricted growth to compete in sport on equal footing. Anyone is encouraged to participate, even if it is his or her first Games. Featured sports include Basketball, Football, Track and Field, Swimming, Boccia, Badminton, Table Tennis, Powerlifting, Kurling and Unihoc. The classification system is based on body proportion and height, allowing fair competition based on technique and ability.
Although the ambition of some of the athletes is to qualify for the Paralympics, the Games are foremost a wonderful occasion to experience the thrill of competition and camaraderie while making new memories. “Even for me it is amazing. I am not used to being surrounded by so many Little People,” says French football player Christophe Fluder. Such meetings show Little People that they are not alone, and that there is a place for them to succeed in the world.
The images were taken at the National Dwarf Games in New York and at the fifth World Dwarf Games in Belfast, where I met one hundred seventy athletes from countries including India, Poland, Sri Lanka, Iran, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Germany.