The Paralympics are a series of international multi-sport events involving athletes with a range of disabilities.There are winter and summer Paralympic Games and all Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.
The Paralympics has grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century.
The first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, and were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics.
Did you wonder what is the meaning of Para? It is derived from the Greek preposition Para (“beside” or “alongside”) and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games.
The Summer Games of 1988 held in Seoul, South Korea was the first time the term “Paralympic” came into official use. The symbol for the Paralympics contains three colours, red, blue, and green, which are the colours most widely represented in the flags of nations.
Each Paralympic Games has a mascot, usually an animal native to the area or occasionally human figures representing the cultural heritage.
For each Paralympic Games, the medals are designed differently, reflecting the host of the games.
Some of the sports in the Paralympics are archery, athletics, swimming, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, powerlifting etc.
Why are Paralympics important? Because they help the society’s attitude towards people with disabilities.
This time, a global campaign called ‘We the 15’ has been launched to improve inclusion, raise awareness and end discrimination against disabled people around the world.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann who is considered the father of Paralympics said, “Do not count what is lost, use what is remaining to the full.”