HERE COME THE THE PARALYMPICS!
Coming down from the rush of sport, sport, sport?
Don’t know what to do with yourself ?
Then don’t despair, in just 14 days, the Paralympics are coming!
Louise at full throttle. Photograph via ALLSPORT.
We all know what the Olympics (or the ‘test event’, as I like to call it), are about. The Summer Olympic games offer sport for able-bodied athletes… then there are the Paralympics which are, of course, the premier event!
It’s the highest level of sport for athletes with a disability.
A brief history lesson: The first Paralympics were held in Rome 1960. There were 23 countries competing; 400 athletes and 8 sports on offer, but this was just the beginning. In 1976 the first Winter Paralympics were held in Sweden.
Since these humble beginnings, Paralympic sport has grown enormously and consequently been held every four years. Paralympic sport has a system in place which ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus – the same factors that account for success in sport for able-bodied athletes.
This system is called “classification” and athletes are classified for different sports based on their individual functional ability.
Which of course leads us to London 2012!
There will be 165 countries competing in 20 sports with more than 4200 athletes. This will be the biggest Paralympic games, ever, with more than one million tickets already sold and an expected global audience of 3.8 billion people.
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