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The Paralympics Games

Spirit in Motion

Founder of the Paralympics

The idea for the Paralympics Games was developed from Sir Ludwig Guttman work. In 1948 he organised a competition in Stoke Mandeville (UK) for Second World War veterans with spinal injuries. He believed that sport was good for both moral and rehabilitation. This competition's success meant that by 1960 Olympic-style Games with international participation had evolved.

Although there have always been close ties between the Olympics and Paralympics, in 2001 an agreement between IOC and International Paralympics Committee (IPC) ensured that from 2012 onwards the city chosen to host the Olympic Games would be obliged to host the Paralympics.

The IPC has established ten disability categories, including physical, visual, and intellectual impairment which apply to Summer and Winter Paralympics. Athletes with one of these disabilities can compete in the Paralympics though not every sport can allow for every disability category.

Paralympic Flag

The Paralympic flag contains three colours, red, blue, and green each in the shape of an Agito (Latin for "I move"), the name given to an asymmetrical crescent specially designed for the Paralympic movement. Paralympic Flag



The summer and winter Paralympic Games have been held at the following locations:

Year Summer Games Winter Games
1960 Rome, Italy  
1964 Tokyo, Japan  
1968 Tel Aviv, Israel  
1972 Heidelberg, West Germany  
1976 Toronto, Canada Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
1980 Arnhem, Netherlands Grilo, Norway
1984 Stoke Mandeville (UK)& New York (USA) Innsbruck, Austria
1988 Seoul, South Korea Innsbruck, Austria
1992 Barcelona & Madrid, Spain Tignes & Albertville, France
1994   Lillehammer, Norway
1996 Atlanta, USA  
1998   Nagano, Japan
2000 Sydney, Australia  
2002   Salt Lake City, USA
2004 Athens, Greece  
2006   Turin, Italy
2008 Beijing, China  
2010   Vancouver, Canada
2012 London, UK  
2014   Sochi, Russia
2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  
2018   Pyeongchang, South Korea
2020 Tokyo, Japan  
2022   Beijing
2024 Paris  
2028 Los Angeles  

Summer & Winter Sports

The summer and winter sports are: IPC Alpine Skiing, IPC Biathlon, IPC Cross Country, IPC Swimming, IPC Athletics, IPC Power Lifting, IPC Shooting, IPC Ice Sledge Hockey, IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport, Archery, Boccia, Canoe, Cycling, Equestrian, Football 5 aside, Football 7 aside, Goalball, Judo, Rowing, Sailing, Sitting Volleyball, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Curling, Wheelchair Fencing, Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Tennis.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) The Paralympics Games [WWW] Available from: [Accessed