IF THE Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) gets enough votes in the upcoming general election, Peter Bódy may become the first member of parliament to use a wheelchair.
Bódy, 47, a father of two, is listed in 16th place on the 150-name candidates list of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda's SDKÚ party. In order for him to secure a seat in parliament, the SDKÚ would likely need to score about nine percent in the election, slightly above its current polling strength.
Bódy, a former gymnast, suffered a spine injury when doing a double somersault back spin. Although he originally recovered from the injury and could even walk, his health condition later deteriorated and he has been in the wheelchair since 1992.
Bódy said on May 20 that if he became an MP he would work to improve the lives of young families, retired people and, most importantly, handicapped people.
"They [disabled] have a huge potential which is not used by society. The integration of disabled people into social life will be mutually beneficial, and will make society healthier."
Bódy, who owns a restaurant called Hlava 22 (Catch 22) in Bratislava, employs several mentally retarded waiters there.
27. May 2002 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA