The Special Olympics and the Paralympics are significant events recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). While fans do believe that they are similar in specific aspects, the differences tend to play a huge role for the bigger part of the process. Due to that, one needs to know all about it and should go ahead to accept these events in the manner that they should be accepted. Hence, go ahead and read more about the difference between the Special Olympics and the Paralympics.
The Disability Criteria
One of the main differences between the Special Olympics and the Paralympics tends to be the category of disabilities. While the Special Olympics moves forward to welcome all athletes with intellectual disabilities, the Paralympics steps things up with six main disability categories. As a result, in order to be eligible for the Special Olympics, you need to have an intellectual disability, developmental disability, and other aspects of functional limitations.
On the other hand, the Paralympics looks into categories like cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, spinal injuries, Les Autres, and so on. Thanks to all that, one must fulfill either of these requirements to be able to move ahead to be eligible for the process of participating in the Special Olympics and the Paralympics.
The Main Structure
Since the eligibility criteria are different, the entire structure of the movement also stands to be different. The Special Olympics is a leading global movement of athletes who are focused on building a huge network that spans all across the world. Due to that, individuals with intellectual disabilities tend to be a part of this movement and step forward to emphasize things that matter the most to the movement. Headquartered in Washington DC, the Special Olympics happens year-round and moves over seven regions.
On the other hand, the Paralympics moves forward with its elected representatives taking control of the movement from the IPC (International Paralympic Committee). As its highest decision-making body, the organization looks after everything and ensures that athletes receive all they need. By implementing rules and regulations that tend to meet their demands, the Paralympic Games step forward to provide a whole different experience that tends to be vital for all the right reasons.
The Driving Philosophy
In terms of philosophy, both these events move ahead in a specific manner. While the Special Olympics looks towards athletes releasing their full potential and helping everyone receive opportunities, the Paralympics focus on elite performance sport by bringing in criteria for athletes to qualify. Due to that, the sporting philosophy differs from each other, and both these events stand to provide a unique experience that keeps audiences engaged by maintaining the competitive spirit of the game.