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, and cerebral palsy. The Winter Paralympic Games are held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games. The Winter Paralympics are also hosted by the city that hosted the Winter Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) oversees the Winter Paralympics. Medals are awarded in each event: with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, following the tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.
The Winter Paralympics began in 1976 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Those Games were the first Paralympics (Summer or Winter) that featured athletes other than wheelchair athletes. The Games have expanded and grown to be (along with the Summer Games) part of the largest international sporting event after the Olympic Games. Given their expansion, the need for a very specific classification system has arisen. This system has also given rise to controversy and opened the door for cheating. Winter Paralympians have also been convicted of steroid use and other forms of cheating unique to Paralympic athletes, which has tainted the integrity of the Games.