Paralympic sport is the umbrella term for a wide range of
sportsfor persons with physical disabilities. While many persons with physical disabilities participate in sports and recreation at various levels, Paralympic sports refers to organized competitive sporting activities as part of the global Paralympic movement. These sports are organized and run under the supervision of the International Paralympic Committeeand other international sports federations.
Organized sport for persons with physical disabilities developed out of rehabilitation programs. Following the
Second World War, in response to the needs of large numbers injured ex-service members and civilians, sport was introduced as a key part of rehabilitation. Sport for rehabilitation grew into recreational sport and then into competitive sport. The pioneer of this approach was Ludwig Guttmannof the Stoke MandevilleHospital in England. In 1948, while the Olympic Gameswere being held in London, England, he organized a sports competition for wheelchair athletes at Stoke Mandeville. This was the origin of the Stoke Mandeville Games, which evolved into the modern Paralympic Games.
No single organization is fully responsible for governing Paralympic sport. Globally, the International Paralympic Committee is recognized as the leading organization, with direct governance of thirteen sports and responsibility over the Paralympic Games and other multi-sport, multi-disability events. Other international organizations, notably the
International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation(IWAS), the International Blind Sports Federation(IBSA), and the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association(CP-ISRA) govern some sports that are specific to certain disability groups. In addition, certain single-sport federations govern sports for athletes with a disability, either as part of an able-bodied sports federation such as the International Federation for Equestrian Sports(FEI), or as a disabled sports federation such as the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation.
At the national level, there are a wide range of organizations that take responsibility for Paralympic sport, including National Paralympic Committees, which are members of the IPC, and many others.
Athletes who participate in Paralympic sport are grouped into six major categories, based on their type of disability:
*Amputee: Persons with a partial or total
amputationof at least one limb.
*Cerebral palsy: Persons who have a non-progressive neurological disorder resulting from
cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, or stroke, or similar disabilities affecting muscle control, balance or coordination.
*Intellectual disability: Persons who have a significant impairment in intellectual functioning with associated limitations in adaptive behaviour. (This category of is currently suspended from international competitions governed by the IPC.)
*Les autres: From the French for "the others," this includes persons with a mobility impairment or other loss of physical function that does not fall strictly into one of the other five categories. Participants include those with
dwarfism, multiple sclerosisor other disabilities.
*Visually impaired: Persons who have a non-correctable vision impairment ranging from partially sighted to total blindness.
*Wheelchair: Persons with a disability that requires them to compete using a
wheelchair. This includes most athletes with spinal cord injuriesas well as other athletes who require wheelchairs, including some lower limb amputees, persons with polio, and other disabilities.
The disability category affects who athletes compete against and which sports they participate in. Some sports are open to multiple disability categories (e.g. cycling), while others are restricted to only one (e.g. Five-a-side football). In some sports athletes from multiple categories compete, but only within their category (e.g athletics), while in others athletes from different categories compete against one another (e.g. swimming).
A major component of Paralympic sport is classification. Classification provides a structure for competition which allows athletes to compete against others with similar disabilities or similar levels of physical function. It is similar in aim to the weight classes or age categories used in some able-bodied sports.
Athletes are classified through a variety of processes that depend on their disability group and the sport they are participating in. Evaluation may include a physical or medical examination, a technical evaluation of how the athlete performs certain sport-related physical functions, and observation in and out of competition. Each sport has its own specific classification system which forms part of the rules of the sport.
The following table lists the currently practiced Paralympic sports:
** ALA - Amputee and les autres
** CP - Cerebral palsy
** ID - Intellectual disability
** VI - Visually impaired
** WC - Wheelchair
** CP-ISRA - Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association
** FEI - International Federation for Equestrian Sports
** IBSA - International Blind Sports Federation
** ICF -
International Curling Federation
** IFDS -
International Foundation for Disabled Sailing
** INAS-FID -
International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability
** IPC - International Paralympic Committee
** ITF -
International Tennis Federation
** IWAS - International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation
** IWBF - International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
** WOVD -
World Organization for Volleyball for the Disabled
** CISS - Comite International des Sport des Sourds
The categories listed represent all those groups that participate in this sport at some level. Not all these categories are represented in competition at the Paralympic Games.
The governing bodies listed represent those organizations responsible for the broadest level of participation. In some cases, other disability-specific organizations will also have some governance of athletes in that sport within their own group. For example, the IPC governs multi-disability athletics competitions such as the Paraympic Games; however, CP-ISRA, IBSA, and IWAS provide single-disability events in athletics for athletes with cerebral palsy, visually impaired athletes, and wheelchair and amputee athletes respectively.
Paralympic Games status details the years these sports were practiced as full medal events at the Paralympic Games. Demonstration sport status is not included.
* [http://www.paralympic.org International Paralympic Committee]
* [http://www.cpisra.org Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association]
* [http://www.ibsa.es International Blind Sports Association]
* [http://www.inas-fid.org INAS-FID: International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability]
* [http://www.wsw.org.uk International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation]
* [http://86.freebb.com/disabledsports/ Discussion forum of Disabled sports]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Paralympic association football — Paralympic football consists of adaptations of the sport of association football for athletes with a disability. These sports are typically played using International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules, with modifications to the field … Wikipedia
Paralympic alpine skiing — A veteran skis on his monoski at Vail, Colorado Paralympic alpine skiing is an adaptation of alpine skiing for athletes with a disability. Paralympic alpine skiing is one of the sports in the Paralympic Winter Games. It is governed by the… … Wikipedia
Paralympic swimming — is an adaptation of the sport of swimming for athletes with disabilities. Paralympic swimming is contested not only at the Summer Paralympic Games, but at disabled sports competitions throughout the world. The sport is governed by the… … Wikipedia
Paralympic shooting — is an adaptation of shooting sports for competitors with disabilities. Shooting is a test of accuracy and control, in which competitors use pistols or rifles to fire a series of shots at a stationary target. Competitions are open to all athletes… … Wikipedia
Paralympic judo — is an adaptation of the Japanese martial art of judo for visually impaired competitors. The rules of the sport are only slightly different from regular judo competitions. Textured mats are used to help the blind or visually impaired compete. It… … Wikipedia
Paralympic archery — is an adaptation of the sport of archery for athletes with a disability. Paralympic archery is governed by the International Paralympic Committee, and is one of the sports in the Summer Paralympic Games. Athletes participating in Paralympic… … Wikipedia
Sports in Puerto Rico — can be traced from the ceremonial competitions amongst the pre Columbian Native Americans of the Arawak also known as Taíno tribes which inhabited the island to the modern era in which sports activities consist of an organized physical activity… … Wikipedia
Paralympic Games — The Paralympic Games are a multi sport event for athletes with physical and sensorial disabilities. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years,… … Wikipedia
Paralympic Games: A Forum for Disabled Athletes — ▪ 2009 On Sept. 6–17, 2008, nearly 4,000 athletes with disabilities representing 147 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) competed in the Paralympic Games in Beijing shortly after the Olympic Games had concluded. (See Special Report (Games … Universalium
Paralympic World Cup — The Paralympic World Cup is an international multi sport event for Paralympic athletes, currently sponsored by VISA [cite web|url=http://www.visaeurope.com/pressandmedia/factsheets/visaparalympicworldcup.jsp| title=The Visa Paralympic World Cup]… … Wikipedia