History of the Paralympics

Paralympics are events that are reserved for the players with impairments. The games attract thousands of athletes from many countries who compete against each other in 22 sports. Given that there has been a various recommendation for the 2020 Paralympics for the introduction of new sports, only taekwondo and Badminton are added to the list. The games will host around 540 events distributed among all the games. Paralympics has been derived from Para which means equal and ‘lympics” as in Olympics. The host country that wins the bid to hold the Olympics is required to hold Paralympics.


Popularly held belief is that Paralympics started in 1960 but the idea was born long before that. During the time Dr. Ludwig Guttmann was working in Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain, he promoted sports among the patients to boost their morale. In no time, the activity transformed into a more professional one. The first competition for wheelchair athletes was held during the London Olympics in 1948 by Guttmann. Known as Stoke Mandeville Games, players were 16 inured veterans and a woman. The games were renamed in 1960 as Paralympic games where 400 war veterans participated in the games from 22 countries.

First winter games:

After the first official debut of the Paralympics, the general perception of the establishment took a drastic turn with more and more members joining in. Exactly after 16 years, the Paralympic Games were held in Winters. In 1976, Sweden became the host of the event and since then, the games have been held in both of the seasons.

Olympics and Paralympics:

Olympics and Paralympics

After a treaty was signed between the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee, host countries are required to host the Paralympics as well. According to the agreement, the games of 2018 and 2020 will be hosted in the same country where the Olympics will be held.

Paralympic Committee:

The Paralympics are regulated by the Paralympic committee. The International Paralympic Committee came into being on 22 Sept 1989 in Germany. The word simply means equal followed by “lympics’ as in Olympics. “para” has been derived from Greek and translates to equal.

New Games:

The Paralympic Committee invited recommendations for the introduction of new sports to the events but out of various suggestions they received, the games of 2020 will see the addition of Taekwondo and Badminton only. The duo will replace 7-a- side football and sailing due to their inability to garner an outreach among the audience.

No of players:

Ever since the first Paralympic Games were held in 1960, it saw around 400 athletes in the events but the number of players has risen over the years. In the Paralympics of 2020, about 4000 athletes are expected to contest in the games and around 180,000 people have already volunteered for the gaming events.

Paralympic Games

The number of events:

There would be a total of 540 events and 22 games played between the teams. The largest number of events is due to Athletics, which has 168 activities in the arena while in the account, swimming is 146 events. Wheelchair Rugby has only 1 event in its bowl while other sports have a significant share of the gaming events. There would be test events held for various games before the Paralympic Games will take place. The selection competitions for Athletics for the Paralympics will take place in May, Goalball on 28 Sept, Powerlifting (26-27 Sept 2019) and Wheel Rugby in March 2020. The test events are due to take place from June 2019 to June 2020.


Initially, when the Paralympics were introduced in 1960, a handful of athletes joined in the movements but eventually the committee grew with overwhelming numbers. This year in Paralympic in Tokyo around 4000 athletes are expected to participate in it. International Paralympic Committee that overlooks the Paralympics with collaboration from the Olympic committee has brought the games to a record summit where it’s open to everyone compared to previous times. Though there’s is much work to do on the sporting events, Athletes can pin their hopes on the credible shoulders of the committee to take them to future heights. Not only that, it has uplifted the hopes of millions of players that suffer from impairments and show them a way to continue the search of their talent.

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