Mother of autistic boy claims her son was disqualified from a swimming final because he “swam too fast”.

Rory Logan, 9, was competing in the Special Olympics regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, when he won the 50m race in 53.15 seconds.

The time was a personal best for the Irish boy who smashed his previous heat time of one minute and three seconds.

Rory was given a ribbon for participating instead of the gold he was expecting, reports 7 news.

His mother, Briony Logan, said officials told her that her son didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race.

“Rory came to me and said: ‘Mum I didn’t do anything wrong, I won fair and square, what did I do?’. I was absolutely gutted for him,” Ms Logan told Belfast Live.

“I went to speak to the officials and basically they said he had been disqualified because he swam too fast. No one can get over this decision.

“Apparently you can’t be more than 15 per cent faster than the time you swam in your heats just in case you are trying to swim slower in your heat to be placed in a lower division’s final.

“Rory swam 15.8 per cent faster than his heat but someone please explain to me how a nine-year-old child would think of doing that or being that calculating.”

“He’s still upset and feels he has done something wrong even though he swam well,” Ms Logan said.”

What do you think of the decision?

Share your comments below.

Image via 7 news

  • That is a wrong decision I believe. I think he is a little legend.


  • I worked with a lady who was a very good swimmer who knew the Mum of an Autistic boy. Some Autistic children have problems communicating and following instructions from more than one person. He loves the water so they decided to get somebody they had confidence in to see if she could teach him to swim mainly for safety. He became a very good swimmer, so much so that within a year they were racing against each other in the pool to give him more confidence and him realise it is one of his talents, previously hidden. He loves it. In fact he told them he wants to live at the pool. They had to explain to him he can’t do that.


  • This is so not right !!


  • Bad form on the judges part – children this age are not calculating little ones – they don’t have that thought in them and especially not if one was autistic.


  • how can some of these people call themselves judges when they do such a thing to a 9yr old boy what this poor child is going through is wrong he has not done any thing bad but he feels as if he has he is autistic for goodness sake grow up judges he is a better swimmer than you so what he won and he deserves his prize.


  • I think their decision is disgusting and disrespectful to Rory. Just because he swam so fast they should be proud of him not disqualifying him. If I could I’d give him his gold medal and sack all of the officials.


  • This is an absolute disgrace. I can’t make sense of it, so I can’t imagine that Rory can. I have a son with ASD so I fully understand the impact this will have n Rory and his family. This will make no sense to Rory no matter how you explain it. WRONG. Absolute poor form. I would be fighting for my son to get the recognition he absolutely deserves.




  • Wow one minute they are giving everyone a medal then they realise how rediculous that was. Now instead of giving credit were credit is due they disqualify a 9 yr old. He could be a future Olypician.


  • The decision was disgusting. Shame on the officials for mistreating this young boy.


  • This sort of behaviour from officials is the very thing that destroys potential future champions. When I was 7 yo I competed in swimming and I was really good at it. So good that I was given 30 second handicaps for 50m events and still winning. My coach thought is was becoming demoralizing to the other children in the under 8s so he moved me up to the under 10s. I made it to state championships but had all 6 event titles (Gold medals) taken off me because another coach complained that I was competing out of age. I was almost 3 years younger than the next child in my races and I was really tiny (only 97cm tall) but still i was disqualified for ‘unfair advantage’. I never could understand the petty nature of the adults who are involved in swimming from coaches to officials. I refused to try to win after that because I didn’t see any point to trying my hardest if I was going to be penalized for it.


  • Really? It looks like a very weird decision to me. And I understand completely why that boy is so disappointed. He should have won!


  • Since he got a PB by a long way (and presumably he has swum this event lots of times before) it does sound like a fluke good swim rather than a calculated attempt to ‘swim down’ in his ability in the heats. It would be interesting to see if he would have placed in the fastest swimmers, or only did well compared to his group. Very sad for the boy. I think the ruling is fair so long as the participants are aware of it, and from this story I believe it should be modified to allow fluke PBs. If however a child has a good PB in the event, goes slow in the heats, then matches or just scrapes another PB in the finals I would be more inclined to say the rule should be applied because you can work out they were going slow in the heats on purpose. Could be important to pursue if this was a significant event since I think there does need to be something to stop cheating, but a way for kids to have a really good day without being called cheats.


  • Rory I am so sorry this is totally wrong. Who ever came up with this ridiculous idea. He did win so why didn’t he get the gold?????


  • Rory you’re a champion! It’s a pity some narrow minded spoilt sport, adult chose to ruin your day I hope the decision is reversed and you are awarded the Gold medal you so deserve


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