Summer Paralympic Games

The Summer Paralympic Games or the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

The United States and the United Kingdom have each hosted two Summer Paralympic Games, more than any other nation. Other countries that have hosted the summer Paralympics are Australia, Canada, China, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain and West Germany. In the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Brazil will host the first Summer Games in South America in Rio de Janeiro. Tokyo will be the first city to host the Summer Paralympics more than once: 1964 and 2020.

Twelve countries — Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United States — have been represented at all Summer Paralympic Games. Seven of those countries have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Paralympic Games: Australia, Austria, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The United States have been the top-ranking nation for eight of the Paralympic Summer Games: 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. China have been the top-ranking nation for the four most recent Games, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Italy (1960), West Germany (1972) and Australia (2000) have been the top-ranking nation one time each.

Summer Paralympic Games
IPC logo (2004)
Candelária cauldron at 2016 Summer Olympics
The Paralympic flame in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
Sports (details)


Qualification rules for each of the Paralympic sports are set by the International Federation (IF) that governs that sport's international competition.


The first official Paralympic Games, was held in Rome, Italy, in 1960.[1] 400 athletes from 23 countries competed at the 1960 Games though only athletes in wheelchairs competed.

At the 1976 Summer Games athletes with different disabilities were included for the first time at a summer Paralympics. With the inclusion of more disability classifications, the 1976 Summer Games expanded to 1,600 athletes from 40 countries.[2]

The 1988 Summer Paralympics were the first to be hosted in the same venues (and thus use the same facilities) as the Olympics of that year. Since then, all Paralympic Games are now held in the same city that hosted the Olympics, with a two-week gap between each.

Rio de Janeiro held the 2016 Summer Paralympics, becoming the first Latin American and South American city to host either the Summer or Winter Games. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Paralympics becoming the first city to host the games twice.


Wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Summer Paralympics
A wheelchair basketball game at the 2008 Summer Paralympics

Every participant at the Paralympics has their disability grouped into one of ten disability categories; impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.[3] Each Paralympic sport then has its own classifications, dependent upon the specific physical demands of competition. Events are given a code, made of numbers and letters, describing the type of event and classification of the athletes competing. Some sports, such as athletics, divide athletes by both the category and severity of their disabilities, other sports, for example swimming, group competitors from different categories together, the only separation being based on the severity of the disability.[4] Within the ten disability categories the athletes still need to be divided according to their level of impairment. The classification systems differ from sport to sport, and is intended to even the playing field so as to allow as many athletes to participate as possible. Classifications vary in accordance with the different skills required to perform the sport.

Archery: Archery is open to athletes with a physical disability. Classifications are broken up into three divisions: W1, spinal cord injured and cerebral palsy athletes with impairment in all four limbs. W2, wheelchair users with full arm function. W3, standing amputee, Les Autres and cerebral palsy standing athletes. Some athletes in the standing group will sit on a high stool for support but will still have their feet touching the ground.[5]

Athletics: Athletics are open to all disability groups and uses a functional classification system. A brief classification guide is as follows: prefixing F for field athletes or T for track athletes. F or T 11–13 are visually impaired, F or T 20 are learning disabled, F or T 32–38 are cerebral palsy, F or T 40–46 amputee and Les Autres, T 51–54 wheelchair track athletes and F 51–58 wheelchair field athletes.[6]

Basketball: Basketball is open to wheelchair athletes. Wheelchair athletes are classified according to their physical ability and are given a points rating between 0.5 – 4.5. The individuals who rate at 0.5 are the most severely disabled and those at 4.5 are the least disabled. A team on the court comprises five players and may not exceed a total of 14 points at any given time.[7]

Boccia: Boccia is open to athletes with cerebral palsy or related neurological conditions who compete from a wheelchair. Classifications are split into four groups; BC1: Athletes are either throwers or foot players (with cerebral palsy). Athletes may compete with an assistant BC2: For throwing players (with cerebral palsy). Players may not have an assistant BC3: Athletes (with severe disability) who use an assistive device and may be assisted by a person, but this assistant must keep their back to the court. BC4: For throwing players. Players may not have an assistant (non-cerebral palsy).[8]

Cycling: Cycling is open to amputee, Les Autre, cerebral palsy and visually impaired athletes who compete in the individual road race and track events. Classifications are broken up into divisions 2, 3 and 4. Athletes in division two are the most severely disabled. While athletes in division four are considered to be higher functioning. Visually impaired athletes compete together with no separate classification system. They ride in tandem with a sighted guide. Amputee, spinal cord injury and Les Autre competitors compete within the classification groupings LC1 – for riders with upper limb disabilities, LC2 – for riders with disabilities in one leg but who are able to pedal normally, LC3 – essentially for riders with a handicap in one lower limb who will usually pedal with one leg only, and LC4 for riders with disabilities affecting both legs.[9]

Equestrian: Equestrian is open to all disability groups, with riders divided into four grades. Grade 1 incorporates severely disabled riders with cerebral palsy, Les Autres and spinal cord injury. Grade 2 incorporates cerebral palsy, Les Autres, spinal cord injury and amputee riders with reasonable balance and abdominal control. Grade 3 is for cerebral palsy, Les Autres, amputee, spinal cord injury and totally blind athletes with good balance, leg movement and coordination. Grade 4 incorporates athletes who have cerebral palsy, Les Autres, amputation(s), spinal cord injury and/or are visually impaired. This last group comprises ambulant athletes with either impaired vision or impaired arm/leg function.[10]

Fencing: Fencing is open to wheelchair athletes. There are only three classes; class A incorporates those athletes with good balance and recovery and full trunk movement; class B is for those with poor balance and recovery but full use of one or both upper limbs; class C is for athletes with severe physical impairment in all four limbs.[11]

Football: There are two forms of football played at the Paralympics. The first is 5-a-side football, which is open to visually impaired athletes. The second is 7-a-side football, which is open to athletes with cerebral palsy. 5-a-side football is open to all visually impaired athletes. Since there are different levels of visual impairment, all players except the goalie (who acts as a guide) are required to wear eye shades. The field dimensions are smaller than able-bodied football, there are only five players on the pitch and the ball makes a sound. Otherwise the rules are exactly the same as able-bodied football.[12] Athletes competing in 7-a-side football are broken down into classes 5, 6, 7 and 8. All classes comprise ambulant athletes; class 5 being the least physically able, progressing through to class 8 who are minimally affected. Teams must include at least one athlete from either class 5 or 6. Furthermore, no more than three players from class 8 are allowed to play at the same time. Other than the fact that the game is played with seven players the rest of the rules and dimensions of the playing field are the same as able-bodied football.[13]

Goalball vid Paralympics i Aten
The Swedish goalball team at the 2004 Summer Paralympics

Goalball: Goalball is open to visually impaired athletes who must wear "black out" masks to ensure all participants can compete equally, thereby eliminating the need for classification. The ball has a bell in it to help the players react to the ball. Complete silence at the venue is required so that the athletes can orient themselves and to ensure fairness.[14]

Judo: Judo is open to visually impaired athletes. The rules are the same as able-bodied judo except that the players are allowed contact with their opponent prior to the start of the match. There are no classifications; participants are divided into weight categories in the same way as able-bodied judo athletes.[15]

Powerlifting: Powerlifting is open to athletes with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, amputations (lower limb only), and Les Autres. Since the competition is a test of upper body strength the classifications are by weight category as in able-bodied powerlifting competition.[16]

Sailing: Sailing is open to amputee, cerebral palsy, visually impaired, spinal cord injured and Les Autres athletes. There are three events, one for single, double, and triple-crew boats. Classification for sailing in the three-person event is based on a functional points system with low points for severely disabled athletes rising by scale to high points for less disabled athletes. A classification committee evaluates each sailor and assign a point from one to seven based on their level of ability. Each crew of three is allowed a maximum of 14 points. The single-person event can be crewed regardless of points but the sailor must have at least a minimum level of disability which prevents them from competing on equal terms with able-bodied sailors. The two-person event is designed for more severely disabled athletes.[17]

Shooting: Shooting is open to athletes with a physical disability. There are only two classes of competition, wheelchair and standing. There are two types of events, pistol and rifle. The athletes are broken down into classes based on their upper body functionality, balance, muscle strength and limb mobility. The three classes are SH1-competitors do not require a shooting stand, SH2-competitors cannot support the weight of the gun and require a shooting stand, and SH3-Rifle competitors with a visual impairment.[18]

Swimming at the 2008 Summer Paralympics - women Butterfly stroke
A Paralympian in the women's butterfly at the 2008 Summer Paralympics

Swimming: The Paralympic swimming competition features all four of the strokes used in able-bodied swimming competitions. Classification is divided into three groups: S1 to S10 are those with physical impairment. S1 will have the most severe impairment and an S10 a lesser impairment. Athletes are judged on their muscle strength, joint range of motion, limb length and movement co-ordination. S11 to S13 are those with a visual impairment. S11 will have little or no vision, S12 can recognise the shape of a hand and have some ability to see, S13 greater vision than the other two classes but less than 20 degrees of vision. S14 is for athletes with a learning difficulty.[19]

Table Tennis: Table tennis is open to athletes with a physical disability. There are individual, doubles and team events. A match is 5 sets of 11 points each. The athletes are broken down into ten divisions based on their level of function. Classes 1 to 5 are for athletes competing from a wheelchair with class 1 being the most severely disabled and class 5 the least disabled. Classes 6 to 10 encompass ambulant athletes with class 6 the most severely disabled and class 10 the least.[20]

Tennis: Tennis at the Paralympics is played with all the same rules as able-bodied tennis with the exception that the ball is allowed to bounce twice, and the first bounce must be within the bounds of the court. It is open to athletes with a mobility related disability which means that they cannot compete on equal terms with able-bodied tennis players. The game is played from a wheelchair, with two classes, paraplegic (at least one leg must have a permanent and substantial loss of function) and quadriplegic (at least three limbs must have a permanent and substantial loss of function).[21]

Volleyball: Volleyball is open to athletes with a physical disability and is performed from a seated position. In sitting volleyball the court is smaller than the standard court and has a lower net. In the sitting games the only classification rule is that each team may have only one player who fits the minimum disability rule, which is that their disability prevents them from competing on equal terms with able-bodied athletes. The other players on the team must demonstrate a higher level of disability.[22]

Wheelchair rugby: Athletes are classified on a points system similar to wheelchair basketball, with the most severely disabled athlete being graded at 0.5 points rising to 3.5 points. Each team has four players and is allowed a maximum of eight points on the court at any one time.[23]

All-time medal table

With reference to the top twenty nations and according to official data of the International Paralympic Committee.

No. Nation Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 15 773 700 710 2183
2  Great Britain (GBR) 15 626 584 579 1789
3  Germany (GER)[24] 15 487 491 465 1323
4  China (CHN) 9 433 339 250 1022
5  Australia (AUS) 15 368 393 364 1125
6  Canada (CAN) 13 355 299 322 976
7  France (FRA) 15 311 320 318 949
8  Netherlands (NED) 15 264 233 217 714
9  Sweden (SWE) 14 235 227 175 637
10  Poland (POL) 13 223 216 187 626
11  Spain (ESP) 12 212 220 226 661
12  Italy (ITA) 15 153 173 182 530
13  Ukraine (UKR) 5 125 115 134 374
14  South Korea (KOR) 14 125 104 108 335
15  Israel (ISR) 15 123 123 129 375
16  South Africa (RSA) 11 117 94 86 297
17  Japan (JPN) 14 106 122 134 362
18  Mexico (MEX) 12 97 90 101 288
19  Denmark (DEN) 13 93 82 105 288
20  Russia (RUS) 5 91 87 90 268

List of Paralympic sports

A number of different sports have been part of the Paralympic program at one point or another.

  This color indicates a discontinued sport

Sport Years
Archery all
Athletics all
Basketball ID 2000
Boccia since 1984
Cycling since 1988
Paracanoe since 2016
Dartchery 1960–1980
Equestrian since 1996
Football 5-a-side since 2004
Football 7-a-side since 1984
Goalball since 1976
Judo since 1988
Lawn bowls 1968–1988, 1996
Paratriathlon since 2016
Sport Years
Powerlifting since 1984
Rowing since 2008
Sailing 1996, since 2000
Shooting since 1976
Snooker 1960–1976, 1984–1988
Swimming all
Table tennis all
Volleyball since 1976
Weightlifting 1964–1992
Wheelchair basketball all
Wheelchair fencing all
Wheelchair rugby 1996, since 2000
Wheelchair tennis 1988, 1992
Wrestling 1980–1984

List of Summer Paralympic Games

Host cities of Summer Paralympic Games
European host cities of Summer Paralympic Games
Games Year Host Opened by Dates Nations Competitors Sports Events Top Nation
Total Men Women
I 1960 Italy Rome, Italy Camillo Giardina 18 – 25 September 23 400 8 57  Italy (ITA)
II 1964 Japan Tokyo, Japan Yoshiaki Kasai 3 – 12 November 21 375 307 68 9 144  United States (USA)
III 1968 Israel Tel Aviv, Israel Yigal Allon 4–13 November 29 750 10 181  United States (USA)
IV 1972 West Germany Heidelberg, West Germany President Gustav Heinemann 2 – 11 August 41 1004 10 187  West Germany (FRG)
V 1976 Canada Toronto, Canada Pauline Mills McGibbon 3–11 August 32 1657 1404 253 13 447  United States (USA)
VI 1980 Netherlands Arnhem, Netherlands Princess Margriet 21–30 June 42 1973 12 489  United States (USA)
VII 1984 United States New York City, United States President Ronald Reagan 17–30 June 45 1800 15 300  United States (USA)
United Kingdom Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom Charles, Prince of Wales 22 July – 1 August 41 1100 10 603  Great Britain (GBR)
VIII 1988 South Korea Seoul, South Korea President Roh Tae-woo 15–24 October 61 3057 16 732  United States (USA)
IX 1992 Spain Barcelona, Spain Queen Sofía of Spain 3–14 September 82 3020 20 555  United States (USA)
Spain Madrid, Spain 15–22 September 75 1600
X 1996 United States Atlanta, United States Vice President Al Gore 16–25 August 104 3259 2469 790 20 508  United States (USA)
XI 2000 Australia Sydney, Australia Governor-General Sir William Deane 18–29 October 121 3881 2891 990 18 551  Australia (AUS)
XII 2004 Greece Athens, Greece President Konstantinos Stephanopoulos 17–28 September 136 3806 2646 1160 19 519  China (CHN)
XIII 2008 China Beijing, China President Hu Jintao 6–17 September 146 3951 20 472  China (CHN)
XIV 2012 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II 29 August – 9 September 164 4302 20 503  China (CHN)
XV 2016 Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil President Michel Temer 7–18 September 159 4342 22 528  China (CHN)
XVI 2020 Japan Tokyo, Japan 25 August – 6 September 22 540 Future event
XVII 2024 France Paris, France 28 August–8 September Future event
XVIII 2028 United States Los Angeles, United States 23 August-3 September Future event

See also


  1. ^ "Paralympics traces roots to Second World War", CBC, September 3, 2008
  2. ^ "History of the Paralympic Games". Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A-Z of Paralympic classification". BBC Sport. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Archery". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on September 13, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  6. ^ "Athletics". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  7. ^ "Basketball". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  8. ^ "Boccia rules of play" (PDF). Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  9. ^ "Cycling". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  10. ^ "Equestrian". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  11. ^ "Fencing Classification Rules" (PDF). International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  12. ^ "Football 5-a-side". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  13. ^ "Football". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  14. ^ "Goalball". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  15. ^ "Judo". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  16. ^ "Powerlifting". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  17. ^ "Sailing". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  18. ^ "Shooting". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  19. ^ "Swimming". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  20. ^ "Table Tennis". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  21. ^ "Wheelchair Tennis". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  22. ^ "Volleyball". Australian Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  23. ^ "Wheelchair Rugby". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  24. ^ Prior to 1990 also called West Germany (FRG). Does not include the totals from East Germany (GDR).

External links

1960 Summer Paralympics

The 9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games, retroactively designated as the 1960 Summer Paralympics (Italian: I Giochi Paralimpici Estivi), were the first international Paralympic Games, following on from the Stoke Mandeville Games of 1948 and 1952. They were organised under the aegis of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation. The term "Paralympic Games" was approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) first in 1984, while the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was formed in 1989.

The Games were held in Rome, Italy from September 18 to 25, 1960, with the 1960 Summer Olympics. The only disability included in these Paralympics was spinal cord injury. There were 209 athletes from 18 countries.

1964 Summer Paralympics

The 1964 Summer Paralympics (Japanese: 第二回パラリンピック夏季競技大会, Hepburn: Dai Ni-kai Pararinpikku Kyōgi Taikai), originally known as the 13th International Stoke Mandeville Games and also known as Paralympic Tokyo 1964, were the second Paralympic Games to be held. They were held in Tokyo, Japan, and were the last Summer Paralympics to take place in the same city as the Summer Olympics until the 1988 Summer Paralympics.

The 1964 Games, although still formally an edition of the International Stoke Mandeville Games, were the first to use the term "Paralympic" in association with the event; the term "Paralympic Games" was approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) first in 1984, while the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was formed in 1989.In contrast with the 1960 Games, many events had more than three participants, meaning that athletes were no longer guaranteed a medal upon completing their event.Tokyo will host the Summer Paralympic Games again in 2020.

1968 Summer Paralympics

The 1968 Summer Paralympics (Hebrew: המשחקים הפאראלימפיים ה-3‎) were the third Paralympic Games to be held. Organised under the guidance of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), they were known as the 17th International Stoke Mandeville Games at the time. The games were originally planned to be held alongside the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, but in 1966, the Mexican government decided against it due to difficulties. The Israeli government offered to host the games in Tel Aviv, a suggestion that was accepted.

The opening ceremony took place in the Hebrew University stadium at the Givat Ram campus in Jerusalem and the games took place in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, at the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled. The closing ceremony took place in the Tel Aviv Trade Center. Therefore, these games were the first in Paralympic history to not be held concurrently with the Olympic Games.

1972 Summer Paralympics

The 1972 Summer Paralympics (German: Paralympische Sommerspiele 1972), the fourth edition of the Paralympic Games, were held in Heidelberg, West Germany, from August 2 to 11, 1972.

1976 Summer Paralympics

The 1976 Summer Paralympics (French: Les Vème Paralympiques d'été), branded as Torontolympiad - 1976 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled, was the fifth Paralympic Games to be held. They were hosted by Toronto, Canada, from August 4 to 12, 1976, marking the first time a Paralympics was held in Americas and in Canada. The games began three days after the close of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

1980 Summer Paralympics

The 1980 Summer Paralympics (Dutch: Paralympische Zomerspelen 1980), branded as the Olympics for the Disabled, were the sixth Summer Paralympic Games. They were held in Arnhem, Netherlands, from June 21 to 30, 1980.

1984 Summer Paralympics

The 1984 International Games for the Disabled, canonically the 1984 Summer Paralympics were the seventh Paralympic Games to be held. They were in fact two separate competitions – one in Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom for wheelchair athletes with spinal cord injuries and the other at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, United States of America for wheelchair and ambulatory athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees, and les autres [the others] (conditions as well as blind and visually impaired athletes). Stoke Mandeville had been the location of the Stoke Mandeville Games from 1948 onwards, seen as the precursors to the Paralympic Games.

As with the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Soviet Union and other communist countries except China, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia boycotted the Paralympic Games.

1988 Summer Paralympics

The 1988 Summer Paralympics (Hangul: 서울 하계 패럴림픽; Hanja: 서울 夏季 패럴림픽; RR: Seoul Hagye Paeleollimpik), were the first Paralympics in 24 years to take place in the same city as the Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.

1996 Summer Paralympics

The 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, USA were held from August 16 to 25. It was the first Paralympics to get mass media sponsorship, and had a budget of USD $81 million.It was the first Paralympic Games where International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability athletes were given full medal status.

2000 Summer Paralympics

The 2000 Paralympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia, from 18 to 29 October. In September 1993, Sydney won the rights to host the 2000 Paralympic Games. To secure this right it was expected that the New South Wales Government would underwrite the budget for the games.

The Sydney games were the 11th Summer Paralympic Games, where an estimated 3,800 athletes took part in the programme. They commenced with the opening ceremony on 18 October 2000. It was followed by the 11 days of fierce international competition and was the second largest sporting event ever held in Australia. They were also the first Paralympic Games outside the Northern Hemisphere.

2004 Summer Paralympics

The 2004 Summer Paralympics (Greek: Θερινοί Παραολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004), the 12th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Athens, Greece from 17 September to 28 September 2004. 3,806 athletes from 136 National Paralympic Committees competed. 519 medal events were held in 19 sports.

Four new events were introduced to the Paralympics in Athens; 5-a-side football for the blind, quads wheelchair tennis, and women's competitions in judo and sitting volleyball. Following a scandal at the 2000 Summer Paralympics, in which the Spanish intellectually-disabled basketball team was stripped of their gold medal after it was found that multiple players had not met the eligibility requirements, ID-class events were suspended.

2008 Summer Paralympics

The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games (Chinese: 第十三屆残疾人奥林匹克运动会), the 13th Paralympics, took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to 17, 2008. As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, equestrian events were held in Hong Kong and sailing events in Qingdao.

3,951 athletes from 146 countries took part, the largest number of nations ever (ten more than the 2004 Games in Athens). Five countries competed for the first time. China fielded more athletes than any other country. The slogan for the 2008 Paralympics was the same as the 2008 Summer Olympics, "One World, One Dream" (simplified Chinese: 同一个世界 同一个梦想; traditional Chinese: 同一個世界 同一個夢想 Pinyin Tóng yīge shìjìe tóng yīge mèngxiǎng, lit. "One World, One Dream"). China dominated the medal count, finishing with 89 gold medals and 211 total medals, more than double the next-ranked NPC in both cases.

339 Paralympic records and 279 world records were broken.International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven declared the Games "the greatest Paralympic Games ever."Beijing has been selected to host the 2022 Winter Paralympics; it would then become the first city ever to host both a Summer and Winter Games.

2012 Summer Paralympics

The 2012 Summer Paralympics, the 14th Summer Paralympic Games, and also more generally known as the London 2012 Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), that took place in London, United Kingdom from 29 August to 9 September 2012. These Paralympics were one of the largest multi-sport events ever held in the United Kingdom after the 2012 Summer Olympics, and until the date the largest Paralympics ever: 4,302 athletes from 164 National Paralympic Committees participated, with fourteen countries appearing in the Paralympics for the first time ever.

The lead-up to these games prominently emphasized the return of the Paralympic movement to its spiritual birthplace: in 1948, the British village of Stoke Mandeville first hosted the Stoke Mandeville Games, an athletics event for disabled British veterans of the Second World War held to coincide with the opening of the Summer Olympics in London. They were the first-ever organized sporting event for disabled athletes and served as a precursor to the modern Paralympic Games. Stoke Mandeville also co-hosted the 1984 Summer Paralympics with Long Island, New York, after its original host, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, pulled out due to financial issues.Organizers expected the Games to be the first Paralympics to achieve mass-market appeal, fuelled by continued enthusiasm from the British public following the country's successful performance at the Summer Olympics, awareness of the United Kingdom's role in the history of the Paralympics, public attention surrounding South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius (who had recently become the first double amputee to compete in the Summer Olympics alongside able-bodied athletes), a major marketing campaign instituted by the Games' local broadcaster, and growing media coverage of Paralympic sport. The games ultimately met these expectations, breaking records for ticket sales, heightening the profile of the Paralympics in relation to the Olympics, and prompting IPC president Philip Craven to declare them the "greatest Paralympic Games ever."A total of 503 events in 20 sports were held during these games; for the first time since their suspension after the 2000 Paralympics, events for the intellectually disabled were also held in selected sports. For the third Summer Paralympics in a row, China won the most medals overall, with a total of 231 (95 of them being gold), followed by Russia and Great Britain.

2016 Summer Paralympics

The 2016 Summer Paralympics (Brazilian Portuguese: Jogos Paralímpicos de Verão de 2016), the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. The Games marked the first time a Latin American and South American city hosted the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, and also the first time a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country hosted the event. These Games saw the introduction of two new sports to the Paralympic program: canoeing and the paratriathlon.

The lead-up to these Paralympics were met with financial shortcomings attributed to tepid sponsor interest and ticket sales, which resulted in cuts to volunteer staffing and transport, the re-location of events and the partial deconstruction of the Deodoro venue cluster. However, ticket sales began to increase as the Games drew nearer, and over 2 million tickets were sold in total—overtaking Beijing 2008 as the second-most-attended Paralympic Games on record. The Russian doping scandal also affected these Paralympics; unlike the Olympics, which selectively allowed Russian athletes to participate, the entire Russian team was banned from the Paralympics. A team of two refugee athletes also participated in Rio, "hosted" by the Greek and American Paralympic Committees.

For the fourth consecutive Summer Paralympics, China topped the medal table, winning 107 gold medals, while Georgia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam won their first ever Paralympic gold medals. For the first time in Paralympic history, and the first time in the Olympics or Paralympics since 1960, an athlete—Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad—died during competition.

2020 Summer Paralympics

The 2020 Summer Paralympics (Japanese: 第十六回パラリンピック競技大会, Hepburn: Dai Jūroku-kai Pararinpikku Kyōgi Taikai) are an upcoming major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee. Scheduled as the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, it is planned to be held in Tokyo, Japan from 25 August to 6 September 2020. This will mark the second time Tokyo has hosted the Paralympics, as they were first hosted there in 1964 alongside the 1964 Summer Olympics.

These Games will see the introduction of badminton and taekwondo to the Paralympic programme, replacing sailing and 7-a-side football.

2024 Summer Paralympics

The 2024 Summer Paralympics (French: Jeux paralympiques d'été de 2024) also known as the 17th Summer Paralympic Games, and commonly known as Paris 2024, are an upcoming major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, to be held in Paris, France, originally planned from 4 to 15 September 2024 but now likely to be 28 August to 8 September. These games mark the first time Paris will host the Paralympics in its history. The final decision was made by the IOC on 13 September 2017, at their annual conference in Lima, Peru.

El Salvador at the Paralympics

El Salvador first competed in the Paralympic Games at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Australia. It has participated in the Summer Paralympic Games every four years since that time. El Salvador has never taken part in the Winter Paralympics, and no Salvadorian has ever won a Paralympic medal.Six athletes from El Salvador have represented their nation at the Paralympic Games, five in the sport category of athletics, which is largely track and field competitions, and one in powerlifting. Wheelchair sprinter Claudia Marina Palacios, the sole Salvadorean competitor in 2000, was the first to represent El Salvador at the Paralympics. Two athletes were sent to the Paralympics in 2004, and one each to the games in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

List of participating nations at the Summer Paralympic Games

This is a list of nations, as represented by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), that have participated in the Summer Paralympic Games between 1960 and 2016. As of the 2016 Games, all of the current 164 NPCs have participated in at least one edition of the Paralympic Games, and athletes from Argentina, Australia, Austria, France, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and United States have competed in all fifteen Summer Paralympic Games.

Paralympic athletics

Paralympic athletics is a disabled sport practiced by athletes with a physical disability who have competed at separate international events since 1952. It is governed by the International Paralympic Committee through its World Para Athletics subcommittee, and has been one of the sports at the Summer Paralympic Games since 1960.Rules for the sport are adapted from those set forth by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The majority of rules for Paralympic athletics are the same as those for able-bodied competitions.

Summer Games
Winter Games
Nations that have competed at the Paralympic Games
Summer Paralympic Games host cities

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