The year 1948 signifies the first year when the Paralympic Games first took form. But the Games didn’t technically become official until 1960; it was held in Rome and featured roughly 400 Paralympic athletes with a physical disability. Since then, the Paralympic Games have grown to include more than 4,000 athletes spanning over 170 countries. Here are some intriguing facts about the Paralympic Games and how they have evolved.
Some Athletes Compete In Olympic And Paralympic Games
While the Paralympic Games did not exist until a century ago, athletes with a mobility concern or a physical disability participated in sporting events. Notable athlete Ray Ewry participated in the Olympics from 1900-1908 and had eight gold medals despite his battle with polio. Now that the Paralympic Games are in place and designed for people with a physical disability, some athletes still participate in both. Athletes rarely participate in both Olympic and Paralympic events, but it’s possible and has happened.
Summer Paralympic Games Occur Alongside Summer Olympics
The Paralympics Games have long been an organized event, but they were clearly separate from the Olympic Games. Now the divide is a little blurrier as the Games have merged to feel like a single event. The Summer Paralympics now occur two weeks after the Summer Olympics conclude and are located at the same venue.
Miscellaneous Paralympic Games Facts
The inclusivity of the Paralympic Games with the Olympic Games has shed a tremendous amount of light on Paralympic athletes. The Paralympic Games have grown significantly and peaked in 2012 when over 4,200 athletes represented 164 countries and participated in 20 different sports.
To fully appreciate the evolution of the Paralympic Games, you have to look back to 1948, which was the introduction of the first wheelchair sport. That first competitive event led to the official Paralympic Games just 12 years later and has now blossomed into a worldwide competition that millions of people watch.
Our team at Next Day Access finds the Paralympic athletes to be some of the most impressive in the world. We are looking forward to watching the Paralympic Games this summer and encourage you to do the same. For more facts or to learn more about the Paralympic Games in general, contact us and we would enjoy the discussion with you.