Philippe Croizon, a household name in France after achieving the remarkable feat of becoming the first quadruple-amputee athlete to swim the Channel, was travelling on the TER train between Rouen and Paris.
Having no arms or legs obviously meant Croizon qualified for reduced-cost travel on account of being severely disabled.
Nevertheless a ticket inspector on the service demanded Croizon show his “carte d'invalidité”, an ID card disabled people must carry to prove they are eligible for a discount.
— Philippe Croizon (@PhilippeCROIZON) 23 septembre 2017
Apparently the fact Croizon was in a wheelchair and clearly has no forearms and hands nor lower legs and feet, wasn't enough to convince the inspector.
A shocked Croizon tweeted out a picture of himself with the hashtag #triste (sad) and “touteestpossible (anything is possible) but remained calm during the exchange.
However passengers around him made their disgust known to the SNCF inspector, after which he reportedly dropped his demand to see Croizon's disability card and moved on down the carriage.
Croizon had been a steel worker by trade, until he was electrocuted in March 1994 while working at his house in Saint Remy-sur-Creuse in central France.
He was forced to have both arms and legs amputated in the aftermath of the horrific accident.
The quadriplegic even defended the inspector on Twitter saying “he could have been having a bad day or maybe he was tired.”
However French authorities have long been criticized for their attitude towards disabled people, especially when it comes to transport.
In 2015 a group supporting France's disabled community handed a “file of shame” to the French government as it emerged that thousands were forced into “exile” in Belgium where facilities and support are considered far better.