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Paralympic Games: Information, News and Events

Updated/Revised Date: 2021-07-24
Author: Disabled World | Contact us

Synopsis: The Paralympic Games are multi-sport disability events for athletes with physical mental and sensorial disabilities. The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. Paralympic Games are sometimes confused with Special Olympics, which are only for people with intellectual disabilities.

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The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. This includes mobility disabilities, amputees, visual disabilities and those with cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, following the Olympic Games, and are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) - (The Paralympic Games are sometimes confused with the Special Olympics, which are only for people with intellectual disabilities.)


There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

When did the Paralympic Games First start?

The Paralympics first started in 1948 when Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition which involved world war 2 veterans that had spinal injuries.

Afterwards a similar event was organized in Toronto, Canada where different disability groups were added and the idea of merging together and taking part in athletic sports was a success.

The name derives from the Greek "para" ("beside" or "alongside") and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games. No relation with paralysis or paraplegia is intended, however, the word Paralympic was originally a portmanteau combining 'paraplegic' and 'Olympic'.

The number of athletes participating in Summer Paralympic Games have increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries in Rome in 1960 to 3806 athletes from 136 countries in Athens in 2004.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.

The logo of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2004.
The logo of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2004.

The Summer and Winter Paralympic Games are the ultimate international competitions for world class athletes with a disability. They are linked to the Olympic celebrations every two years and athletes must meet strict qualifying standards in order to compete.

Disability Category Definitions for Paralympic Games

(These categories apply to both summer and winter Paralympics.)

Winter Paralympic Games:
1976 Winter Paralympics - Ornskaldsvik, Sweden
1980 Winter Paralympics - Geilo, Norway
1984 Winter Paralympics - Innsbruck, Austria
1988 Winter Paralympics - Innsbruck, Austria
1992 Winter Paralympics - Albertville, France
1994 Winter Paralympics - Lillehammer, Norway
1998 Winter Paralympics - Nagano, Japan
2002 Winter Paralympics - Salt Lake City, United States
2006 Winter Paralympics - Turin, Italy
2010 Winter Paralympics - Vancouver, Canada
2014 Winter Paralympics - Sochi, Russia
2018 Winter Paralympics - Pyeongchang, South Korea
2022 Winter Paralympics - Beijing, China
2026 Winter Paralympics - Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
2030 Winter Paralympics - To Be Announced
Summer Paralympic Games:
1960 Summer Paralympics - Rome, Italy
1964 Summer Paralympics - Tokyo, Japan
1968 Summer Paralympics - Tel Aviv, Israel
1972 Summer Paralympics - Heidelberg, West Germany
1976 Summer Paralympics - Toronto, Canada
1980 Summer Paralympics - Arnhem, Netherlands
1984 Summer Paralympics - Stoke Mandeville, UK - New York, US
1988 Summer Paralympics - Seoul, South Korea
1992 Summer Paralympics - Barcelona, Spain
1996 Summer Paralympics - Atlanta, United States
2000 Summer Paralympics - Sydney, Australia
2004 Summer Paralympics - Athens, Greece
2008 Summer Paralympics - Beijing, China
2012 Summer Paralympics - London, United Kingdom
2016 Summer Paralympics - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2020 Summer Paralympics - Tokyo, Japan (Held in 2021 due to COVID-19 World Pandemic)
2024 Summer Paralympics - Paris, France
2028 Summer Paralympics - Los Angeles, United States
2032 Summer Paralympics - Brisbane, Australia

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2021, July 24). Paralympic Games: Information, News and Events. Disabled World. Retrieved September 22, 2021 from