To Excel, Inspire and Excite
(The Paralympic Games)

3 words that pack a lot reflecting as they dothe Paralympic Vision. Succinct and apt.

As we’ve had ample discussion about the Olympics, its time we tackled the Paralympics considering the next edition will begin on September 6.

To be clear, the “Para” in Paralympics is not meant to refer to Paraplegic. “Para” means “beside” in Greek. So the Paralympics are meant to be alongside or parallel, i.e, equivalent to the Olympics. Paralympians are also elite athletes just like Olympians. In fact –

“Five of ten Powerlifting world records are held by Paralympians. One of them is Ahmed Gomaa Mohamed Ahmed from Egypt, whose world record of 193.5kg exceeds the non-disabled record by more than 10 kilograms. Athletes in 100m sprints have posted times within one second of the Olympic record. Adekunde Adesoji, a visually impaired athlete from Nigeria, for example, covers the 100m in sensational 10.76 seconds. Alpine skiers descended the slopes of Snow Basin at the Salt Lake 2002 Paralympic Winter Games with speeds of more than 100km per hour.”

By the way, the Paralympics are not the same as the Special Olympics. The latter is only for the intellectually disabled while the Paralympics are for all disabled (although participation in the Paralympics by the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability a.k.a. INAS-FID has been suspended at present but that’s another matter which we will briefly discuss later below).

The 1st Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960 the same place and year as the XVII Olympiad. Although that seems to be just a coincidence as only beginning 1988 were the Paralympics and Olympics consistently held in the same year and city. Now, the selection of the Olympics host city includes evaluating the city’s ability to host the Paralympics. Further proof of the parallel natures of both Games.

The Summer Games can only last 12-14 days while the Winter Games only between 9-12 days.


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