Paralympic Games: Information, News and Events
Updated/Revised Date: 2022-08-21
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Paralympic Games Publications
Synopsis: The Paralympic Games are multi-sport disability events for athletes with physical, mental and sensory disabilities. 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.) 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, Paralympic was originally a portmanteau combining 'paraplegic' and 'Olympic.'
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. The International Paralympic Committee governs all Paralympic Games (IPC).
When did the Paralympic Games First start?
The Paralympics started in 1948 when Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition involving World War 2 veterans with spinal injuries. Afterward, a similar event was organized in Toronto, Canada, where different disability groups were added, and the idea of merging and participating 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, Paralympic was originally a portmanteau combining 'paraplegic' and 'Olympic.'
The number of athletes participating in the Summer Paralympic Games has 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 to compete.
Paralympic Medals Now Make a Sound When You Shake Them
Winning Paralympic athletes are now presented medals filled with tiny steel balls, which allow a Paralympian with visual impairment to experience their win aurally by shaking them.
The number of balls increases by place;16 for bronze, 20 for silver, and 28 for gold, so each 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medal makes a different sound.
Paralympic medals have featured braille before, and the shakeable medal helps make the Paralympic games even more accessible to all athletes with disabilities.
Disability Category Definitions for Paralympic Games
(These categories apply to both summer and winter Paralympics.)
- Amputee: Athletes with a partial or total loss of at least one limb.
- Cerebral Palsy: Athletes with non-progressive brain damage, for example, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, or similar disabilities affecting muscle control, balance, or coordination.
- Intellectual Disability: Athletes with a significant impairment in intellectual functioning and associated limitations in adaptive behavior (currently suspended.)
- Wheelchair: Athletes with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities require them to compete in a wheelchair.
- Visually Impaired: Athletes with vision impairment ranging from partial vision, sufficient to be judged legally blind, to total blindness.
- Athletes with a physical disability that does not fall strictly under one of the other five categories, such as dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, or congenital deformities of the limbs such as that caused by thalidomide.
|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|
Subtopics and Associated Subjects
|Latest Paralympic Games Publications|
|Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Media Rights|
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) launches requests for information for Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 Paralympic Games media rights in Europe.
Publish Date: 2020-09-17
|Harder Than You Think - Paralympic Games Documentary Film|
Producers John Battsek and Greg Nugent of HTYT Films producing ground-breaking new feature documentary titled 'Harder Than You Think', which charts the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games.
Publish Date: 2019-08-26
|Wheelchair Dance Sport Rules Update - IPC|
IPC Wheelchair Dance announce changes to 2014 - 17 rulebook, including athlete eligibility, general rules for freestyle, showdance and judging criteria.
Publish Date: 2015-08-04 - Updated: 2016-01-05
|Boston Applicant city for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games|
US Olympic Committee announces Boston will represent US in bid to host 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Publish Date: 2015-01-09
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