Notification Updates » Paralympics


10 August, 2022


The Paralympic Games, also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, are a recurring series of international multi-sport competitions that feature athletes with a variety of physical impairments, such as reduced muscle strength (such as paraplegia and quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida), reduced passive range of motion, limb deficiency (such as amputation or Dysmelia), different leg lengths, short stature, hypert Since the Seoul, South Korea, Summer Olympics in 1988, there have been both Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which are held very immediately after the corresponding Olympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee oversees every Paralympic event (IPC).

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Paralympics had expanded from a modest meeting of British World War II veterans to one of the biggest worldwide sporting occasions. Doctor Antonio Maglio proposed the Paralympics in Rome in 1960 with 400 athletes with disabilities from 23 nations. By 2020, there will be 4520 participants competing from 163 National Paralympic Committees. Although Paralympians aim for parity with Olympic athletes who are not disabled, there is a significant funding difference between the two sports.

Paralympics: Overview

Athletes with a variety of disabilities compete in the international multi-sport Paralympic Games or Paralympics. The occasion typically follows the Olympic Games and occurs every two years. The Paralympic Winter and Summer Games are each separate competitions. The International Paralympic Committee oversees every Paralympic event (IPC). Participating athletes suffer from a variety of impairments, including reduced muscle strength, hypertonia, ataxia, visual loss, and intellectual disability.

Categories in Paralympics

The IPC has defined ten categories for disabilities, encompassing impairments of the physical, intellectual, and visual systems. The Paralympics are open to athletes with any of these disabilities, albeit not all sports can accommodate all disability categories. Both the Summer and Winter Paralympics fall under these categories.

There are eight distinct categories of physical impairment:

  • Reduced force produced by muscles, such as those in one limb, one side of the body, or the lower half of the body, occurs with impairments in this category (e.g. spinal cord injury, spina bifida, post-polio syndrome).
  • Passive range of motion impairment – A systematic reduction in the range of motion in one or more joints. Acute illnesses like arthritis are excluded.
  • A total or partial lack of bones or joints resulting from a partial or complete loss brought on by disease, trauma, or congenital limb deficit (e.g. dysmelia).
  • Leg-length discrepancy: A congenital defect or trauma causes a significant bone shortening in one leg.
  • Short stature – A musculoskeletal deficiency of bone or cartilage structures results in shorter legs, arms, and trunk, which reduces standing height. (For instance, achondroplasia, a lack of growth hormone, and osteogenesis imperfecta)
  • Hypertonia – Hypertonia is characterised by a diminished capacity for muscle stretching and an abnormal increase in muscle tension. Injuries, illnesses, or disorders that affect the central nervous system can cause hypertonia (e.g. cerebral palsy).
  • Ataxia – Ataxia is a condition in which there is an inability to coordinate the motions of the muscles (examples include cerebral palsy, Friedreich’s ataxia, and multiple sclerosis).
  • Generally speaking, athetosis is characterised by unbalanced, involuntary motions and a challenge keeping a symmetrical posture (e.g. cerebral palsy, choreoathetosis).

The other two disabilities recognised by the IPC are:

  • Visual Impairment – Athletes with visual impairment ranging from complete blindness to partial vision, which is considered to be legally blind. This involves a visual system component or components that are impaired (eye structure, receptors, optic nerve pathway, and visual cortex). The athletes with vision impairments and their sighted guides are regarded as a team because they are such an integral and close part of the competition.
  • Intellectual disability:athletes with a major intellectual disability and corresponding limits in adaptive behaviour are said to have an intellectual disability. The IPC generally supports athletes with physical disabilities, although previous Paralympic Games have also included participants with intellectual disabilities. Only elite athletes with intellectual disability who were identified before the age of 18 are included in this. The Special Olympics World Games, which are sanctioned by the IOC, are open to all athletes with intellectual disability.

What is the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)?

The International Paralympic Committee is the entity that oversees the Paralympic Movement internationally. It consists of four international sports federations dedicated to people with disabilities and 176 National Paralympic Committees (NPC).

Andrew Parsons serves as the IPC’s president. Germany’s Bonn serves as the global headquarters for the IPC. The Winter and Summer Paralympic Games must be planned by the IPC. Additionally, it performs the role of nine sports’ International Federation (Paralympic athletics, Paralympic swimming, Paralympic archery, Paralympic powerlifting, Para-alpine skiing, Paralympic biathlon, Paralympic cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and Wheelchair DanceSport).

The IPC is also in charge of upholding the Paralympic Charter’s bylaws, recognising media partners, certifying officials, and appointing judges. 

The International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee work together (IOC). Members of the IPC who are also IOC members take part in IOC commissions and committees. Despite their tight working relationship, the two governing organisations continue to be separate and host different Games.

English is the official language of the Paralympic movement, unlike the Olympic Games. The official languages of the host nation are the other language spoken at each Paralympic event. 

History and Evolution of the Paralympics

Sports for athletes with disabilities have been around for more than a century, and the first deaf sports clubs were founded in Berlin in 1888.

However, it wasn’t extensively adopted until after World War II. Its primary objective at the time was to provide aid to the numerous combat injured civilians and veterans.

Dr. Ludwig Guttmann established a spinal injuries centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain in 1944 at the British government’s request. Over time, rehabilitation sport developed into recreational sport and finally competitive sport.

Dr. Guttmann organised the first wheelchair competition, which he called the Stoke Mandeville Games, on July 29, 1948, the day of the Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony in London. This event marked a turning point in Paralympic history. They included 16 injured service members who participated in archery.

The International Stoke Mandeville Games were established in 1952, and Dutch ex-servicemen joined the Movement.

400 athletes from 23 nations competed in the Stoke Mandeville Games, which subsequently evolved into the Paralympic Games, which were held for the first time in Rome, Italy, in 1960. They have occurred every four years since since.

The first Paralympic Winter Games were held in Sweden in 1976, and like the Summer Games, they are held every four years and feature an Opening Ceremony and a Closing Ceremony.

Due to a deal between the IPC and IOC, the Games have participated in the same towns and venues as the Olympics ever since the Summer Games in Seoul, Korea in 1988, and the Winter Games in Albertville, France in 1992.

India’s achievements in the Tokyo Paralympics

Before the Tokyo 2020 campaign started, India has won a total of 12 medals at Paralympic Games overall. Indian athletes surprised everyone by winning more medals in one competition than they ever had in their whole history. India sent 19 competitors to the Rio Paralympics, and they brought back 19 medals to the Toyko Paralympics.

And given the quantity of fourth-place finishers (six in total).

However, it was a campaign that changed the course of history and created new benchmarks for India in parasports.

Medals won by India at Paralympics:


India experienced its most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games ever at the conclusion of Tokyo 2020.

A notable international sporting event for athletes with impairments is the Paralympic Games. The Paralympics, like the Olympic Games, are divided into Winter Games and Summer Games that alternate every two years.

The Paralympic Games are overseen by the International Paralympic Committee, which was established in 1989 and has its headquarters in Germany.

Six different handicap categories—amputee, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries, intellectual disability, and “les autres”—are competed in by Paralympic athletes (athletes whose disability does not fit into one of the other categories, including dwarfism).

In 1960, 400 competitors from 23 nations competed in eight sports at the Paralympics. Over 4,200 participants from 164 nations competed in 20 sports at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, which took place little over 50 years later.