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 Olympic, which are only for people with intellectual disabilities.)
The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical disabilities, including impaired muscle power (e.g. paraplegia and quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, Post-polio syndrome, spina bifida), impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency (e.g. amputation or dysmelia), leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. 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).
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 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.
(These categories apply to both summer and winter Paralympics.)
|Winter Paralympic Games:|
|1976 - Paralympics - Ornskaldsvik - Sweden|
|1980 - Paralympics - Geilo - Norway|
|1984 - Paralympics - Innsbruck - Austria|
|1988 - Paralympics - Innsbruck - Austria|
|1992 - Paralympics - Albertville - France|
|1994 - Paralympics - Lillehammer - Norway|
|1998 - Paralympics - Nagano - Japan|
|2002 - Paralympics - Salt Lake City - United States|
|2006 - Paralympics - Turin - Italy|
|2010 - Paralympics - Vancouver - Canada|
|2014 - Paralympics - Sochi - Russia|
|2018 Winter Paralympics - Pyeongchang - South Korea|
|2022 - Paralympic - Beijing - China|
|Summer Paralympic Games:|
|1960 - Paralympics - Rome - Italy|
|1964 - Paralympics - Tokyo - Japan|
|1968 - Paralympics - Tel Aviv - Israel|
|1972 - Paralympics - Heidelberg - West Germany|
|1976 - Paralympics - Toronto - Canada|
|1980 - Paralympics - Arnhem - Netherlands|
|1984 - Paralympics - Stoke Mandeville - UK, New York - US|
|1988 - Paralympics - Seoul - South Korea|
|1992 - Paralympics - Barcelona - Spain|
|1996 - Paralympics - Atlanta - United States|
|2000 - Paralympics - Sydney - Australia|
|2004 - Paralympics - Athens - Greece|
|2008 - Paralympics - Beijing - China|
|2012 - Paralympics - London - United Kingdom|
|2016 - Paralympics - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil|
|2020 - Paralympics - Tokyo - Japan|
|2024 - Paralympics - Paris - France|
International Paralympic Committee Turns 25 - We should be proud of our achievements, says President - In the last 25 years the IPC has been transformed from a disability organization into one of worlds most respected international sporting bodies.