Disability, according to the World Health Organization, is defined as "...an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives."
Esther Vergeer is a Dutchwheelchair tennis player. She is five-time Paralympics tennis champion, eleven-time consecutive world-champion (i.e. winner of the NEC Masters tournament), and has been the world's top ranked player since 1999. Unbeaten in singles matches since January 2003, she may be the most dominant player in any professional sport. Vergeer also played wheelchair basketball before she took up tennis fulltime.
Vergeer developed paraplegia when she was 8 years old due to otherwise successful, very risky surgery on hemorrhaging blood vessels around her spinal cord. During rehabilitation she learned to play volleyball, basketball, and tennis in a wheelchair. After playing basketball for several years at club level, she was invited to join the national wheelchair basketball team. She played with the Dutch team that won the European championship in 1997.
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