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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Paralympic Games

Paralympics is the equivalent of the Olympic Games for disabled people. They are held every four years where possible in the same city or country as the Olympic Games.

The word Paralympics combines the word Para (the Greek preposition for beside or alongside) with the word Olympics because the games happen parallel to the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The Paralympics have grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sport events by the early 21st century.


The event was inaugurated at the Olympic Games, in Rome between September 18 - 25 September 1960. 400 athletes competed in the "Parallel Olympics", which became known as the first Paralympics.

The Games were initially open only to athletes in wheelchairs; at the 1976 Summer Games in Toronto, Canada, athletes with different disabilities were included for the first time at a Summer Paralympics.

The Soviet Union refused to host the 1980 Paralympics, stating that none of their citizens had disabilities.

It was at the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea, that the Paralympic Summer Games were first held directly after the Olympic Summer Games, in the same host city, and using the same facilities. Since then, all Paralympic Games are now held in the same city that hosted the Olympics, with a two-week gap between each.

Australian flag bearer Paul Croft at the Opening Ceremony. By Australian Paralympic Committee, 

The 1992 Winter Paralympics in Tignes and Albertville, France were the first Winter Games to use the same facilities as the Winter Olympics.

Spain's basketball team was stripped of their Special Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics after it was discovered they organized a team of healthy individuals to pose as mentally handicapped.

The current Paralympic flag was first flown during the Closing Ceremony of the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.

The Paralympic flag By Scazon -

The Paralympic motto is "Spirit in Motion". The motto was introduced in 2004 at the Paralympic Games in Athens. The previous motto was "Mind, Body, Spirit", introduced in 1994.


Paralympic athletes have many different kinds of disabilities, so there are several categories in which the athletes compete. The disabilities are in six broad categories: amputee, Cerebral Palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired, and Les Autres (This means "The Others" in French.)

Those who are deaf, cannot participate in the Paralympics, a separate sports event called the [Deaflympics] is held to cater to them.

There are only four sports in the Paralympic Games out of the total 20 that are not part of the Olympic Games. They are goal ball, boccia, wheelchair rugby, and powerlifting.

Paralympic medals have steel balls inside them which, when shaken, makes a rattling sound that helps notify visually impaired athletes to determine between medals.

Lee Pearson, winner of ten Paralympic gold medals for dressage, is allergic to horses.

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