We've all seen and heard of the Olympics; they happen every four years in the Summer and Winter, where athletes from around the world compete in sports for medals. However, after the Olympics, we also have the Paralympics for athletes with disabilities to compete with others from around the world. The Paralympics, whilst heard of, are less known than the Olympics, and for some, it isn't always clear what their history is.


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What Are The Paralympics?

woman in a wheelchair playing tennis

The Paralympic Games were held in 1960 in Rome and had athletes with disabilities from all over the world competing in sports events for medals. Since then, like the Olympics, the Paralympics are held every four years, both in Summer and Winter, just weeks after the Olympics end.

For the Paralympics, there are six different disability groups that allow as many disabilities into the event as possible. By doing this, it means that those who compete against each other have the same advantages. The six groups are amputee, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries, intellectual disability and Les Autres (disabilities that don't fit into the other categories).

The benefit of this is that it allows all types of people to have the chance to do what those without disabilities can do. It also gives people the opportunity to show their skills and strengths and shows that having a disability doesn't have to be a limitation.

Paralympic Events

two people in wheelchairs playing basketball

Each Paralympic event has been changed slightly to facilitate the disabilities that the athletes have. For example, football and goalball have been altered to suit those with limited or no eyesight, and fencing, tennis and rugby are done from wheelchairs. Paralympians can take part in these events:

Why Are They Important?

The Paralympics are massively important, especially in today's society. People need to know that just because they have a disability that does not make them incapable of doing what those without a disability can do. The Paralympics give disabled athletes the platform they need to do just this; a platform that is fair, inclusive and competitive to all disability types.


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