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The Paralympic Games or Paralympics, also known as the ''Games of the Paralympiad'', is a periodic series of international
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Alexandria, Egypt Sports clubs *AC Sporting, a football club from Beirut, Lebanon *Alexandria Sporting Club, a sp ...
s involving athletes with a range of physical
disabilities A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or effectively interact with the world around them (socially or materially). These conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive Cognition () ...

disabilities
, including impaired muscle power (e.g.
paraplegia Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek () "half-stricken". It is usually caused by spinal cord injury or a congenital condition that affects the neural (brain) eleme ...
and
quadriplegia
quadriplegia
,
muscular dystrophy Muscular dystrophies (MD) are a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of rare neuromuscular disease A neuromuscular junction (or myoneural junction) is a chemical synapse between a motor neuron A motor neuron (or motoneuron) is a ne ...
,
spina bifida Spina bifida (Latin for "split spine"; SB) is a in which there is incomplete closing of the and the around the during . There are three main types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele and myelomeningocele. Meningocele and myelomeningocele may ...
), impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency (e.g.
amputation Amputation is the removal of a limb Limb can refer to: *Limb (anatomy), an appendage of a human or animal *Limb Music, a record label *Limb (album), an album by Foetus *Limb, in astronomy, the curved edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body, ...

amputation
or
Dysmelia Piglet with dipygus at Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum in Kiev">Ukrainian_National_Chernobyl_Museum.html" ;"title="dipygus at Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum">dipygus at Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum in Kiev Dysmelia (from Ancient G ...
), leg length difference,
short stature Short stature refers to a height of a human Human height or stature is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body, standing erect. It is measured using a stadiometer, usually in centimetres when using the m ...
,
hypertonia Hypertonia is a term sometimes used synonymously with spasticity Spasticity () is a feature of altered skeletal muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are Organ (biology), organs of the vertebrate muscular system that are m ...
,
ataxia Ataxia is a neurological sign consisting of lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements that can include gait abnormality Gait abnormality is a deviation from normal walking ( gait). Watching a patient walk is the most important part o ...

ataxia
,
athetosis Athetosis is a symptom characterized by slow, involuntary, convoluted, writhing movements of the fingers, hands, toes, and feet and in some cases, arms, legs, neck and tongue. Movements typical of athetosis are sometimes called ''athetoid'' movemen ...
,
vision impairment Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses Glasses, also known as eyeglasses or spectacles, are vision eyewe ...
and
intellectual impairment Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, e ...
. There are
Winter Winter is the est of the year in and . It occurs between and . The tilt of Earth's axis causes seasons; winter occurs when a is oriented away from the . Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a de ...
and
Summer Paralympic Games The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral p ...
, which since the 1988 Summer Olympics in
Seoul, South Korea Seoul (, like ''soul''; ko, 서울 ; ), officially the Seoul Special City, is the Capital city, capital and largest metropolis of South Korea.Before 1972, Seoul was the ''de jure'' capital of the North Korea, Democratic People's Republic of ...

Seoul, South Korea
, are held almost immediately following the respective
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
. All Paralympic Games are governed by the
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
(IPC). The Paralympics has grown from a small gathering of British
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
veterans in
1948 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. The Paralympics has grown from 400 athletes with a disability from 23 countries in 1960 to thousands of competitors from over 100 countries at the
2012 Summer Paralympics The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the 14th Summer Paralympic Games The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athlete ...
. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel with the Olympic Games, while the
IOC The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, mu ...
-recognized
Special Olympics World Games The Special Olympics World Games are an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities, organized by the IOC-recognised Special Olympics Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children a ...
include athletes with
intellectual disabilities Intellectual disability (ID), also known as general learning disability and formerly mental retardation (MR), Rosa's Law, Pub. L. 111-256124 Stat. 2643(2010). is a generalized neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significantly impaired in ...
, and the
Deaflympics The Deaflympics (previously called World Games for the Deaf, and International Games for the Deaf) are an International Olympic Committee (IOC)-sanctioned event at which deaf athletes compete at an elite level. Unlike the athletes in other IOC-san ...
include
deaf Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In medical contexts, the meaning of deafness is hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability ...
athletes.Special Olympics and the Olympic Movement
Official website of the
Special Olympics Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities Intellectual disability (ID), also known as general learning disability and formerly mental retardation (MR), Rosa's Law, Pub. L ...
, 2006
Given the wide variety of disabilities that Para athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete. The allowable disabilities are broken down into ten eligible impairment types. The categories are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference,
short stature Short stature refers to a height of a human Human height or stature is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body, standing erect. It is measured using a stadiometer, usually in centimetres when using the m ...
,
hypertonia Hypertonia is a term sometimes used synonymously with spasticity Spasticity () is a feature of altered skeletal muscle Skeletal muscles (commonly referred to as muscles) are Organ (biology), organs of the vertebrate muscular system that are m ...
,
ataxia Ataxia is a neurological sign consisting of lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements that can include gait abnormality Gait abnormality is a deviation from normal walking ( gait). Watching a patient walk is the most important part o ...

ataxia
,
athetosis Athetosis is a symptom characterized by slow, involuntary, convoluted, writhing movements of the fingers, hands, toes, and feet and in some cases, arms, legs, neck and tongue. Movements typical of athetosis are sometimes called ''athetoid'' movemen ...
,
vision impairment Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses Glasses, also known as eyeglasses or spectacles, are vision eyewe ...
and
intellectual impairment Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, e ...
. These categories are further broken down into various classifications.


Forerunners

Athletes with disabilities did compete at the Olympic Games prior to the advent of the Paralympics. The first athlete to do so was
German American German Americans (german: Deutschamerikaner, ) are Americans who have full or partial Germans, German ancestry. With an estimated size of approximately 43 million in 2019, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by ...
gymnast
George Eyser George Louis Eyser (August 31, 1870 – March 6, 1919) was a German-American German Americans (german: Deutschamerikaner, ) are Americans Americans are the citizens and nationals Nationals may refer to: * People of a given nationa ...
in
1904 Events January * January 7 Events Pre-1600 * 1325 – Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal This is a list of Portuguese monarchs who ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal, in 1139, to the deposition of the ...
, who had one artificial leg.
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
Karoly Takacs competed in shooting events in both the
1948 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the . There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in s). This day is known as since the day marks the beginning of the year. __TOC__ ...
and
1952 Events January * January 8 Events Pre-1600 *307 – Emperor Huai of Jin, Jin Huaidi becomes emperor of China in succession to his father, Emperor Hui of Jin, Jin Huidi, despite a challenge from his uncle, Sima Ying. *871 – ...
Summer Olympics. He was a right-arm
amputee Amputation is the removal of a limb Limb can refer to: *Limb (anatomy), an appendage of a human or animal *Limb Music, a record label *Limb (album), an album by Foetus *Limb, in astronomy, the curved edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body, ...

amputee
and could shoot left-handed. Another disabled athlete to appear in the Olympics prior to the Paralympic Games was
Lis Hartel Lis Hartel (March 14, 1921 – February 12, 2009) was an equestrian from Denmark. She was originally coached by her mother, Else Holst, but began to be coached by professional horseman Gunnar Andersen when she became nationally competitive. ...
, a
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
equestrian athlete who had contracted polio in 1943 and won a silver medal in the
dressage Dressage ( or ; a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a form of horse riding performed in exhibition and competition, as well as an art sometimes pursued solely for the sake of mastery. As an equestrian The word equestr ...
event. The first organized athletic event for disabled athletes that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the
1948 Summer Olympics The 1948 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad and commonly known as London 1948) were an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational g ...
in London, United Kingdom. Jewish-German born Dr.
Ludwig Guttmann Sir Ludwig "Poppa" Guttmann (3 July 1899 – 18 March 1980)GRO – Register of Deaths – MAR 1980 19 1000 AYLESBURY, Ludwig Guttmann, DoB = 3 July 1899 was a German-born British neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "s ...

Ludwig Guttmann
of
Stoke Mandeville Hospital Stoke Mandeville Hospital is a large National Health Service The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly funded health care, publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom (UK). Since 1948 they have bee ...
, who had been helped to flee
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
by the
Council for Assisting Refugee Academics The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) is a charitable British organisation dedicated to assisting academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile, and many who choose to remain in their home countries despite the serious risks they face. ...
(CARA) in 1939, hosted a sports competition for British
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. The first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, and were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. Guttman's aim was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities that would be equivalent to the Olympic Games. The games were held again at the same location in 1952, and
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
i veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its own kind. These early competitions, also known as the
Stoke Mandeville Games Stoke is a common place name in the United Kingdom. Stoke may refer to: Places United Kingdom The largest city called Stoke is Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. See below. Berkshire * Stoke Row, Berkshire Bristol * Stoke Bishop * Stoke ...
, have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville holds a similar place in the lore of the Paralympic movement as Greece holds in the Olympic.


Milestones

There have been several milestones in the Paralympic movement. The first official Paralympic Games, coincident with the ninth
Stoke Mandeville Games Stoke is a common place name in the United Kingdom. Stoke may refer to: Places United Kingdom The largest city called Stoke is Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. See below. Berkshire * Stoke Row, Berkshire Bristol * Stoke Bishop * Stoke ...
but no longer open solely to war veterans, was held in Rome in 1960. 400 athletes from 23 countries competed at the 1960 Games. Since 1960, the Paralympic Games have taken place in the same year as the Olympic Games. The Games were initially open only to athletes in wheelchairs; at the 1976 Summer Games, athletes with different disabilities were included for the first time at a Summer Paralympics. With the inclusion of more disability classifications the 1976 Summer Games expanded to 1,600 athletes from 40 countries. The
1988 Summer Paralympics The 1988 Summer Paralympics (), were the first Paralympics in 24 years to take place in the same city as the 1988 Summer Olympics, Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into offi ...
in
Seoul Seoul (, like ''soul''; ko, 서울 ; ), officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppe ...

Seoul
was another milestone for the Paralympic movement. It was in Seoul that the Paralympic Summer Games were held directly after the
1988 Summer Olympics The 1988 Summer Olympics ( ), officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad and commonly known as Seoul '1988, were an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreatio ...
, in the same host city, and using the same facilities. This set a precedent that was followed in 1992,
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
and
2000 2000 was designated as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the World Mathematics, Mathematical Year. Popular culture holds the year 2000 as the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium due to a tendency of group ...
. It was eventually formalized in an agreement between the
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
(IPC) and the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, m ...
(IOC) in 2001, and was extended through 2020. On March 10, 2018, the two committees further extended their contract to 2032. The 1992 Winter Paralympics were the first Winter Games to use the same facilities as the
Winter Olympics The Winter Olympic Games (french: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Ale ...
.


Winter Games

The first Winter Paralympic Games were held in
1976 Events January * January January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , r ...
in
Örnsköldsvik Örnsköldsvik (, ) is a Urban areas in Sweden, locality and the seat of Örnsköldsvik Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden, with 32,953 inhabitants in 2017. Its natural harbour and archipelago is in the Gulf of Bothnia and the norther ...

Örnsköldsvik
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
. This was the first Paralympics in which multiple categories of athletes with disabilities could compete. The Winter Games were celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart, just as the Olympics were. This tradition was upheld through the 1992 Games in
Albertville Albertville (; Franco-Provençal, Arpitan: ''Arbèrtvile'') is a Subprefectures in France, subprefecture of the Savoie Departments of France, department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regions of France, region in Southeastern France. It is best kn ...

Albertville
, France; after that, beginning with the 1994 Games, the Winter Paralympics and the
Winter Olympics The Winter Olympic Games (french: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Ale ...

Winter Olympics
have been held in those even-numbered years separate from the Summer Olympics.


International Paralympic Committee

The
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. It comprises 176
National Paralympic Committees A National Paralympic Committee (NPC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Paralympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), NPCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the ...
(NPC) and four disability-specific international sports federations. The president of the IPC is Andrew Parsons. The IPC's international headquarters are in
Bonn The Federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...

Bonn
, Germany. The IPC is responsible for organizing the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. It also serves as the International Federation for nine sports (
Paralympic athletics Para-athletics is the sport of athletics Athletics is a group of sporting events that involves competitive running, jumping, throwing sports, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road r ...
,
Paralympic swimming Para swimming is an adaptation of the sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against ea ...
, Paralympic archery,
Paralympic powerliftingParalympic powerlifting is an adaptation of the sport of powerlifting for athletes with disabilities. The only discipline in Paralympic powerlifting is the bench press. The sport is governed by the International Paralympic Committee and is open to a ...
,
Para-alpine skiing Paralympic alpine skiing is an adaptation of alpine skiing Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing Skiing is a means of transport ...
,
Paralympic biathlon Paralympic biathlon is an adaptation of biathlon for athletes with a disability. Paralympic biathlon is one of two Nordic skiing disciplines in the Paralympic Games, Winter Paralympic Games. It is governed by the International Paralympic Committee ...

Paralympic biathlon
,
Paralympic cross-country skiing of Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk Minsk ( be, Мінск/Менск , russian: link=no, Минск) is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach (Berezina), Svislač and the Nyamiha ...
,
ice sledge hockey Sledge hockey (also known as Para ice hockey, or sled hockey in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language nati ...
and
Wheelchair DanceSport Wheelchair DanceSport is a partner dance, partner dance competition and Dancesport where at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair. Sport Wheelchair couple dances are for two wheelchair users or for one wheelchair user with a "standing" pa ...
). This requires the IPC to supervise and coordinate the World Championships and other competitions for each of the nine sports it regulates. IPC membership also includes National Paralympic Committees and international sporting federations. International Federations are independent sport federations recognized by the IPC as the sole representative of a Paralympic Sport. International Federations responsibilities include technical jurisdiction and guidance over the competition and training venues of their respective sports during the Paralympic Games. The IPC also recognizes media partners, certifies officials, judges, and is responsible for enforcing the bylaws of the Paralympic Charter. The IPC has a cooperative relationship with the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, m ...
(IOC). Delegates of the IPC are also members of the IOC and participate on IOC committees and commissions. The two governing bodies remain distinct, with separate Games, despite the close working relationship. The Paralympic Games were designed to emphasize the participants' athletic achievements and not their disability. Recent games have emphasized that these games are about ability and not disability. The movement has grown dramatically since its early days – for example, the number of athletes participating in the Summer Paralympic games has increased from 400 athletes in Rome in 1960 to 4,342 athletes from 159 countries in Rio de Janeiro in
2016 2016 was designated as: * International Year of Pulses 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ...

2016
. Both the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games are recognized on the world stage. Unlike the Olympic Games, English is the official language of the Paralympic movement. The other language used at each Paralympic Games is the official languages of the host country. Every proclamation (such as the announcement of each country during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony) is spoken in these two languages.


Name and symbols

Although the name is originally coined as a portmanteau combining "paraplegic" (due to its origins as games for people with spinal injuries) and "Olympic", the inclusion of other disability groups meant that this was no longer considered very accurate. The present formal explanation for the name is that it derives from the Greek preposition παρά, ''pará'' ("beside" or "alongside") and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
. The Summer Games of 1988 held in Seoul was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use. “Spirit in Motion” is the motto for the Paralympic movement. The symbol for the Paralympics contains three colours, red, blue, and green, which are the colours most widely represented in the flags of nations. The colours are each in the shape of an ''Agito'' (which is Latin for "I move / I shake / I stir"), which is the name given to an asymmetrical crescent specially designed for the Paralympic movement. The three Agitos circle a central point, which is a symbol for the athletes congregating from all points of the globe. The motto and symbol of the IPC were changed in 2003 to their current versions. The change was intended to convey the idea that Paralympians have a spirit of competition and that the IPC as an organization realizes its potential and is moving forward to achieve it. The vision of the IPC is, "To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to inspire and excite the world." The Paralympic anthem is "Hymne de l'Avenir" or "Anthem of the Future". It was composed by Thierry Darnis and adopted as the official anthem in March 1996.


Ceremonies


Opening

As mandated by the Paralympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games. Most of these rituals were established at the
1920 Summer Olympics The 1920 Summer Olympics (french: Les Jeux olympiques d'été de 1920; nl, Olympische Zomerspelen van de VIIe Olympiade; german: Olympische Sommerspiele 1920), officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport ...
in Antwerp. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country's flag and a performance of its national anthem. Unlike the Olympic Games, immediately after the national anthem the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation. Since the
1988 Summer Paralympics The 1988 Summer Paralympics (), were the first Paralympics in 24 years to take place in the same city as the 1988 Summer Olympics, Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into offi ...
, the nations enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country's chosen language, though with the host country's athletes being the last to enter. The host nation presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theatre representative of its culture. Speeches are given, formally opening the games. Finally, the Paralympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier—often a Paralympic athlete from the host nation—who lights the Paralympic flame in the stadium's cauldron.


Closing

The closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. The is taken down. Since the 1988 Winter Paralympics, with some exceptions, the national flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Paralympic Games is hoisted while the corresponding national anthem is played. The games are officially closed, and the Paralympic flame is extinguished. After these compulsory elements, the next host nation briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture.


Medal presentation

A medals ceremony is held after the conclusion of each Paralympic event. The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum when they are awarded their respective medal by an IPC member. The national flags of the medalists are then raised while the
national anthem A national anthem is a patriotic Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of ...
of the gold medalist is played. Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers. For every Paralympic event, the respective medal ceremony is held, at most, one day after the event's final.


Equality


Relationship with the Olympics

In June 2001, the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, m ...
(IOC) and the
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
(IPC) signed an agreement that would ensure that the staging of the Paralympic Games is automatically included in the bid for the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
.IPC-IOC Co-operation
, The official website of the
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
The agreement came into effect at the 2008 Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing, and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. However, the Salt Lake 2002 Organizing Committee (SLOC), chose to follow the practice of "one bid, one city" already at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, with one Organizing Committee for both Games, which was followed up by the 2004 Games in Athens and Turin in 2006. The agreement was adjusted in 2003. An extension was signed in June 2006. Initially agreed to remain in effect until the 2012 Summer Olympics, this has since been extended, encompassing all Summer and Winter games up until the 2020 Summer Olympics. Even beyond this, all Summer and Winter host cities currently announced are preparing pairs of Olympic and Paralympics Games. This was further confirmed when on 10 March 2018, the IOC and the IPC agreed to further extend the contract to the 2032 Summer Olympics. The IOC has written its commitment to equal access to athletics for all people into its
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scie ...
, which states, While the charter is silent on discrimination specifically related to disability; given the language in the charter regarding discrimination it is reasonable to infer that discrimination on the basis of disability would be against the ideals of the Olympic Charter and the IOC. This is also consistent with the Paralympic Charter, which forbids discrimination on the basis of political, religious, economic, disability, gender, sexual orientation or racial reasons. Chairman of the London organising committee,
Sebastian Coe Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, (born 29 September 1956), often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe, is a British politician and former track and field Track and field is a sport that includes Competition#Sports, athletic contests bas ...
, said about the
2012 Summer Paralympics The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the 14th Summer Paralympic Games The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athlete ...
and
2012 Summer Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational ...
in London, England, that, "We want to change public attitudes towards disability, celebrate the excellence of Paralympic sport and to enshrine from the very outset that the two Games are an integrated whole." The 2014 Winter Paralympic Games is the first such Paralympics hosted by Russia. Russia ratified the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights International human rights law (IHRL) is the body of international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is ...
during that period. Notably at 2010 Vancouver, their Paralympic team topped the medal table at the
Winter Paralympics The Winter Paralympic Games is an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow and ice sports. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness Visual impairment, also kno ...
, while their Olympic team performed well below expectations at the
Winter Olympics The Winter Olympic Games (french: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Ale ...
. This led the media to highlight the contrast between the achievements of the country's Olympic and Paralympic delegations, despite the greater attention and funding awarded to the Olympic athletes. The
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
organizers of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games have, since 2007, made efforts to make the host city Sochi more accessible.


Paralympians at the Olympics

Paralympic athletes have sought equal opportunities to compete at the Olympic Games. The precedent was set by
Neroli Fairhall Neroli Susan Fairhall (26 August 1944 – 11 June 2006) was a New Zealand athlete, who was the first paraplegic Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek Ionic Greek ...
, a Paralympic archer from
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
, who competed at the
1984 Summer Olympics The 1984 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Los Angeles 1984) was an international multi-sport event held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, mainly in Los Angeles, California, United States. ...
in Los Angeles. In 2008, Oscar Pistorius, a South Africa at the Paralympics, South African sprinter, attempted to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pistorius had both his legs amputated below the knee and races with two carbon fibre blades manufactured by Össur. He holds Paralympic world record in the 400 meter event. Pistorius missed qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 400 meter race, by 0.70 seconds. He qualified for the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he won gold medals in the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprints. In 2011, Pistorius qualified for the
2012 Summer Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational ...
and competed in two events: he made the semi-final in the 400 metres race; and his team came 8th in the final of the 4 × 400 metres relay race. Even though all athletes are given equal opportunities to participate in these events, such as the 400 meter race, there has been growing criticism that the games may not be fair to all athletes. For example, athletes running a race with a left prosthetic leg may be disadvantaged compared to those with a right side prosthesis because the races are run in an anticlockwise direction, giving some athletes an advantage. Some athletes without a disability also compete at the Paralympics; The sighted guides for athletes with a visual impairment are such a close and essential part of the competition that the athlete with visual impairment and the guide are considered a team, and both athletes are medal candidates.Visually impaired skiers put fate in guide's hands
, thestar.com, March 13, 2010


Funding

Starting at the 1992 Summer Paralympics, recent games have also been supported by contributions from major sponsors. Unlike the Olympics, where the IOC mandates that arenas be clean of sponsor logos, the Paralympics do allow the logos of official sponsors to be displayed inside arenas and on uniforms.


Media coverage

While the Olympic Games have experienced tremendous growth in global media coverage since the
1984 Summer Olympics The 1984 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Los Angeles 1984) was an international multi-sport event held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, mainly in Los Angeles, California, United States. ...
, the Paralympics have been unable to maintain a consistent international media presence. Television broadcasts of Paralympic Games began in 1976, but this early coverage was confined to taped-delay releases to one nation or region. At the 1992 Summer Paralympics, there were 45 hours of live coverage but it was available only in Europe. Other countries broadcast highlight packages during the Games. No meaningful improvements in coverage occurred until the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney. The 2000 Paralympics represented a significant increase in global media exposure for the Paralympic Games. A deal was reached between the Sydney Paralympic Organizing Committee (SPOC) and All Media Sports (AMS) to broadcast the Games internationally. Deals were reached with Asian, South American, and European broadcast companies to distribute coverage to as many markets as possible. The Games were also webcast for the first time. Because of these efforts, the Sydney Paralympics reached a global audience estimated at 300 million people. Also significant was the fact that the organizers did not have to pay networks to televise the Games as had been done at the 1992 and
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
Games. Despite these advances, consistent media attention has been a challenge, which was evidenced in the coverage in Great Britain of the 2010 Winter Paralympics. In the UK, it is a legal requirement for the games to be broadcast live by a free-to-air broadcaster, although a pay-to-view broadcaster can share the rights; the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was criticized for its minimal coverage of the 2010 Winter Paralympics as compared to its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The BBC announced it would stream some content on its website and show a one-hour highlight program after the Games ended. For the Winter Olympics the BBC aired 160 hours of coverage. The response from the BBC was that budget constraints and the "time zone factor" necessitated a limited broadcast schedule. The reduction in coverage was done in spite of increased ratings for the 2008 Summer Paralympics, which was watched by 23% of the population of Great Britain. In Norway, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) broadcast 30 hours of the 2010 Winter Games live. NRK-sport were critical of parts of the TV production from Vancouver, and notified the European Broadcasting Union, EBU of issues such as the Paralympic biathlon, biathlon coverage excluding the shooting, and Paralympic cross-country skiing, cross-country skiing with skiers in the distance, making it hard to follow the progress of the competition. NRK were far more pleased with the production of the
ice sledge hockey Sledge hockey (also known as Para ice hockey, or sled hockey in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language nati ...
and wheelchair curling events, which they felt reached the same level as the Olympic Games. Public-service broadcaster Channel 4 acquired the rights to the Paralympics in the United Kingdom for the
2012 Summer Paralympics The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the 14th Summer Paralympic Games The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athlete ...
, and planned to air extensive coverage of the games; Channel 4 aired 150 hours of coverage, and also offered mobile apps, and three dedicated streaming channels of additional coverage on Sky (UK and Ireland), Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and Channel 4's website." Channel 4 also made a push to heighten the profile of the Paralympics in the country by producing a two minute trailer for its coverage, "Meet the Superhumans"; which premièred simultaneously on over 70 commercial channels in the UK on 17 July 2012. Channel 4 have also acquired the rights to the 2014 Winter Paralympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics.


Outside the games

A 2010 study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) on the Olympic Games Impact (OGI), showed that of roughly 1,600 Canadian respondents, 41–50 percent believed the 2010 Winter Paralympics, 2010 Paralympic and 2010 Winter Olympics, Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada triggered additional accessibility of buildings, sidewalks and public spaces. 23 percent of employers said the Games had increased their willingness to hire people with disabilities. Chief Executive Officer for the International Paralympic Committee, Xavier Gonzalez, said about the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, Beijing, China, that:


Classification

The
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
(IPC) has established ten disability categories. Athletes are divided within each category according to their level of impairment, in a functional classification system which differs from sport to sport.


Categories

The IPC has established ten disability categories, including physical, visual, and intellectual impairment. Athletes with one of these disabilities can compete in the Paralympics though not every sport can allow for every disability category. These categories apply to both Summer and Winter Paralympics. Physical disability, Physical Impairment – There are eight different types of physical impairment: * Impaired muscle power – With impairments in this category, the force generated by muscles, such as the muscles of one limb, one side of the body or the lower half of the body is reduced, (e.g. spinal cord injury,
spina bifida Spina bifida (Latin for "split spine"; SB) is a in which there is incomplete closing of the and the around the during . There are three main types: spina bifida occulta, meningocele and myelomeningocele. Meningocele and myelomeningocele may ...
, post-polio syndrome). * Impaired passive range of movement – The range of movement in one or more joints is reduced in a systematic way. Acute conditions such as arthritis are not included. * Loss of limb or limb deficiency – A total or partial absence of bones or joints from amputation, partial or total loss due to illness, trauma, or congenital limb deficiency (e.g. dysmelia). * Leg-length difference – Significant bone shortening occurs in one leg due to congenital deficiency or trauma. * Short stature – Standing height is reduced due to shortened legs, arms and trunk, which are due to a musculoskeletal deficit of bone or cartilage structures. (e.g. achondroplasia, growth hormone deficiency, osteogenesis imperfecta) * Hypertonia – Hypertonia is marked by an abnormal increase in muscle tension and reduced ability of a muscle to stretch. Hypertonia may result from injury, disease, or conditions which involve damage to the central nervous system (e.g. cerebral palsy). * Ataxia – Ataxia is an impairment that consists of a lack of coordination of muscle movements (e.g., cerebral palsy, Friedreich’s ataxia, multiple sclerosis). * Athetosis – Athetosis is generally characterized by unbalanced, involuntary movements and a difficulty maintaining a symmetrical posture (e.g. cerebral palsy, choreoathetosis). Visual impairment, Visual Impairment – Athletes with visual impairment ranging from partial vision, sufficient to be judged legal blindness, legally blind, to total blindness. This includes impairment of one or more component of the visual system (eye structure, receptors, optic nerve pathway, and visual cortex). The sighted guides for athletes with a visual impairment are such a close and essential part of the competition that the athlete with visual impairment and the guide are considered a team. Beginning in 2012, these guides (along with sighted Goalkeeper (association football), goalkeepers in 5-a-side football became eligible to receive medals of their own. Intellectual disability, Intellectual Disability – Athletes with a significant
intellectual impairment Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments that arise before adulthood. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, e ...
and associated limitations in adaptive behaviour. The IPC primarily serves athletes with physical disabilities, but the disability group Intellectual Disability has been added to some Paralympic Games. This includes only elite athletes with intellectual disabilities diagnosed before the age of 18. However, the
IOC The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, mu ...
-recognized
Special Olympics World Games The Special Olympics World Games are an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities, organized by the IOC-recognised Special Olympics Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children a ...
are open to all people with intellectual disabilities.


Classification system

Within the disability categories, the athletes still need to be divided according to level of impairment. The classification systems differ from sport to sport and are intended to open up sports to as many athletes as possible who can participate in fair competitions against athletes with similar levels of ability. The biggest challenge in the classification system is how to account for the wide variety and severity of disabilities. Consequently, there is a range of impairment within most classifications .


Medical classification (until 1980s)

From its inception until the 1980s, the Paralympic system for classifying athletes consisted of a medical evaluation and diagnosis of impairment. An athlete's medical condition was the only factor used to determine what class they competed in. For example, an athlete who had a spinal cord injury that resulted in lower limb paresis, would not compete in the same wheelchair race as an athlete with a double above-knee amputation. The fact that their disability caused the same impairment did not factor into classification determination, the only consideration was their medical diagnosis. It was not until views on disabled athletics shifted from just a form of rehabilitation to an end in itself, that the classification system changed from medical diagnosis to a focus on the functional abilities of the athlete.


Functional classification (since 1980s)

While there is no clear date when the shift occurred, a functional classification system became the norm for disabled athletic classification in the 1980s. In a functional system, the focus is on what effect the athlete's impairment has on his or her athletic performance. Under this system, athletes with total loss of function in their legs will compete together in most sports, because their functional loss is the same and the reason for the loss is immaterial. The only exception to the functional system is the classification format used by International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), which still uses a medically based system. Some sports are only held for certain disability types. For example, Goalball at the Summer Paralympics, goalball is only for visually impaired athletes. The Paralympics recognizes three different grades of visual impairment, consequently all competitors in goalball must wear a visor or "black out mask" so that athletes with less visual impairment will not have an advantage. Other sports, like Athletics at the Summer Paralympics, athletics, are open to athletes with a wide variety of impairments. In athletics, participants are broken down into a range of classes based on the disability they have and then they are placed in a classification within that range based on their level of impairment. For example: classes 11–13 are for visually impaired athletes, which class they are in depends on their level of visual impairment. There are also team competitions such as Wheelchair rugby at the Summer Paralympics, wheelchair rugby. Members of the team are each given a point value based on their activity limitation. A lower score indicates a more severe activity limitation than a higher score. A team cannot have more than a certain maximum total of points on the field of play at the same time to ensure equal competition. For example, in wheelchair rugby, the four players' combined disability number must total no more than eight points.


Sports

There are twenty-two sports on the Summer Paralympic program and six sports on the Winter Paralympics program. Within some of the sports are several events. For example, Alpine skiing at the Winter Paralympics, alpine skiing has downhill, super combined, super-G, slalom, giant slalom. The IPC has governance over several of the sports but not all of them. Other international organizations, known as International Sports Federations (IF), notably the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS), the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), and the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA), govern some sports that are specific to certain disability groups. There are national chapters for these International Sport Federations including National Paralympic Committees, which are responsible for recruitment of athletes and governance of sports at the national level.


Cheating

After the 2000 Summer Paralympics, 2000 Sydney games, a Spain at the Paralympic Games, Spanish basketball player alleged that several members of the gold medal-winning Spanish basketball intellectually disabled (ID) team were not disabled. He claimed that only two athletes out of the twelve-member team met the qualifications of an intellectually disabled athlete. A controversy ensued and the
International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; german: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games The P ...
(IPC) called on the Spanish National Paralympic Committee to launch an investigation. The investigation uncovered several Spanish athletes who had flouted the ID rules. In an interview with the president of the federation that oversees ID competition, Fernando Martin Vicente admitted that athletes around the world were breaking the ID eligibility rules. The IPC responded by starting an investigation of its own. The results of the IPC's investigation confirmed the Spanish athlete's allegations and also determined that the incident was not isolated to the basketball ID event or to Spanish athletes. As a result, all ID competitions were suspended indefinitely. The ban was lifted after the 2008 Games after work had been done to tighten the criteria and controls governing admission of athletes with intellectual disabilities. Four sports, swimming, athletics, table tennis and rowing, were anticipated to hold competitions for ID athletes at the
2012 Summer Paralympics The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the 14th Summer Paralympic Games The Summer Paralympics also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athlete ...
. The Paralympics have also been tainted by steroid use. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, three powerlifters and a German basketball player were banned after having tested positive for banned substances. This was a decrease in comparison to the ten powerlifters and one track athlete who were banned from the 2000 Games. German skier Thomas Oelsner became the first Winter Paralympian to test positive for steroids. He had won two gold medals at the 2002 Winter Paralympics, but his medals were stripped after his positive drug test. At the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Sweden at the 2010 Winter Paralympics, Swedish curler Glenn Ikonen tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for six months by the IPC. He was removed from the rest of the curling competition but his team was allowed to continue. The 54-year-old curler said his doctor had prescribed a medication on the banned substances list. Another concern now facing Paralympic officials is the technique of "boosting (doping), boosting". Athletes can artificially increase their blood pressure, often by self-harming, which has been shown to improve performance by up to 15%. This is most effective in the endurance sports such as Paralympic cross-country skiing, cross-country skiing. To increase blood pressure athletes will deliberately cause trauma to limbs below a spinal injury. This trauma can include breaking bones, strapping extremities in too tightly, and using high-pressure compression stockings. The injury is painless but it does affect the athlete's blood pressure. Another potential concern is the use of gene therapy among Paralympic athletes. All Paralympic athletes are banned from enhancing their abilities through gene doping, but it is extremely difficult to differentiate these concepts.Wolbring, G. (2008). Oscar Pistorius and the future nature of Olympic, Paralympic and other sports. SCRIPT-ed, 5(1). . World Anti-Doping Agency, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is currently researching both gene doping and gene therapy, in part to discern the boundary between the two closely related concepts.World Anti Doping Agency. (October 2009). Gene Doping. In World Anti-Doping Agency. Retrieved April 11, 2012, from . The IPC have been working with WADA since 2003, to ensure compliance with WADA's anti-doping code among its Paralympic athletes.World Anti-Doping Agency (2008). Beijing 2008. Play True. Retrieved April 13, 2012. From The IPC has also promised to continue increasing the number of athletes tested at each of its Games, in order to further minimize the possible effect of doping in Paralympic sports. Mandatory in- and out-of competition testing has also been implemented by the IPC to further ensure all of its athletes are performing in compliance with WADA regulations. Having sent samples for forensic analysis, the IPC found evidence that the Doping in Russia, prevalent doping by Russian athletes was in operation at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi. On 7 August 2016, the IPC's Governing Board voted unanimously to ban the entire Russian team from the 2016 Summer Paralympics, citing the Russian Paralympic Committee's inability to enforce the IPC's Anti-Doping in sport, Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code which is "a fundamental constitutional requirement". IPC President Philip Craven, Sir Philip Craven stated that the Russian government had "catastrophically failed its Para athletes". IPC Athletes' Council Chairperson and Canadian Paralympic Committee, CPC Member Todd Nicholson said that Russia had used athletes as "pawns" in order to "show global prowess".


Notable champions and achievements

Trischa Zorn of the United States at the Paralympic Games, United States is the most decorated paralympian in history. She competed in the blind swimming events and won a total of 55 medals, 41 of which are gold. Her Paralympic career spanned 24 years from 1980 Summer Paralympics, 1980 to 2004 Summer Paralympics, 2004. She was also an alternate on the 1980 American Olympic swim team, but did not go to the 1980 Summer Olympics, Olympics due to a 1980 Summer Olympics boycott, boycott by the United States and several of its allies. Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway at the Paralympics, Norway holds the record for the most medals ever won at the Winter Paralympic Games. Competing in a variety of events between 1988 and 2002, she won a total of 22 medals, of which 17 were gold. After winning five gold medals at the 2002 Games she retired at the age of 58.
Neroli Fairhall Neroli Susan Fairhall (26 August 1944 – 11 June 2006) was a New Zealand athlete, who was the first paraplegic Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek Ionic Greek ...
, a paraplegic archer from New Zealand, was the first paraplegic competitor, and the third Paralympian, to participate in the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
, when she competed in the
1984 Summer Olympics The 1984 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Los Angeles 1984) was an international multi-sport event held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, mainly in Los Angeles, California, United States. ...
in Los Angeles. She placed thirty-fourth in the Olympic archery competition, and won a Paralympic gold medal in the same event.


Host cities

Postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time that the Paralympic Games has been postponed. They are still called the 2020 Summer Paralympics, even with the change in scheduling to one year later. The new dates were later confirmed as 24 August to 5 September 2021.


See also

* * All-time Paralympic Games medal table * Parapan American Games * Asian Para Games * Commonwealth Paraplegic Games * Cybathlon * Disability flag


Notes


References

* * * * * *


Further reading

* Peterson, Cynthia and Robert D. Steadward. ''Paralympics : Where Heroes Come'', 1998, One Shot Holdings, . * Thomas and Smith, ''Disability, Sport and Society'', Routledge, 2008, .


External links


Official website

Paralympic Sport TV, web-TV channel of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
{{Good article Paralympic Games, Disabled multi-sport events Recurring sporting events established in 1960