The concept of the paralympics originated at the Stroke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, England to honor veterans who suffered from spinal injuries from World War II. The inspiration behind the ideas came from Ludwig Guttman, a Jewish neurologist and refugee from Nazi Germany. The first Paralympic game took place in 1960 in Rome, Italy. The games grew by the winter games in 1976 and by the summer games of 1992 in Barcelona, Spain there were 82 competing nations and about 3,500 athletes completing.
Paralympics is an athletic sporting event for the physically disabled including amputees, the blind and persons suffering from cerebral palsy.
Some of the summer events the disabled compete in include track, archery, basketball, boccie ball, bowling, cycling, equestrian events, fencing, goal ball, judo, soccer, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and weightlifting.
Some of the winter events the disabled compete in include skiing, ice-sledge hockey, ice-sled, and biathlon.
Many of these sports are the ones we chose to explore on this web site!
Modern technology has changed the opportunities disabled people have to do things , like compete in sporting events. The intensity of the competition has increased with the number of competitors and as a result financial support of the Paralympics has increased. To compete in the games, parathletes must meet qualifying standards according to disability type and severity. They then have to be selected to represent his/her countryís team. The International Olympic Committee supports the Paralympics and they are governed by the International Paralympic Committee.
Victor Calise is an athlete, works
full time and is an honor student at St. Johnís University. When
not working or studying, he participates in sporting events. He plays
sled hockey for the USA team and competed in the Nagano Paralympics.
He is also interested in cycling, acting and skiing.