This year Athens welcomes athletes with physical
disabilities to the 2004
Paralympic Games, which will be held the
17th through 28th of September. The Paralympics
Games have evolved into the second largest
major sporting event in the world! It is surpassed
in size only by the Olympic Games. The term "paralympics" actually
means "next to" or "parallel" to
the regular Olympic Games.
The first Olympic
style games for Paralympics athletes were held
in Rome right after the 1960 Olympic Games.
Since then, over 23,800 athletes from 123 countries
have competed in the Games. Paralympians embody
the the spirit of Olympism, a set of values
that enhance the physical, intellectual, and
spiritual growth of participants through sport,
art, and music while promoting friendship and
understanding in the world. While the
Paralympics Games focus on the athlete, not
the disability, spectators cannot help being
inspired by the spirit of these talented men
and women. In fact, the motto of the International
Paralympic Committee is "Spirit in
EdGate invites you to join us in celebrating
and learning about this exciting event.
Exploring the Paralympics
In order to make competition fair for
all Paralympians, athletes are classified according
to disability. The groups are: amputee, cerebral
palsy, intellectual disability, spinal cord
injury, visual impairment and Les Autres ("the
others"), athletes whose impairment doesn't
fall into one of the previous categories.
While some sports are open to most disability groups,
competition in certain sports may be restricted
to athletes with a specific type of impairment,
for example, members of the Judo team must be legally
blind, and sitting volleyball players must have
a disability that impairs one or more limbs.
Don't be fooled by the word "disability." Paralympics
world records correspond closely with those of
Olympic athletes. Nigerian Ajibola Adoye,
holds the Paralympics record in the men's 100 meters.
His time, 10.72 seconds, is less than one second
over Canadian athlete Donovan Bailey’s Olympic
record of 9.84 seconds.
Paralympic world records exceed able-bodied world
records in four of the Powerlifting weight categories.
Click here for
more comparisons of Paralympics and Olympic records,
or check out the links below for more info.
Check out these sites for more
information and to learn more about the spirit, sport
people, and sports for
the disabled. Disabled or not, will you be
in shape for next Winter?
Paralympic logos change from
organization to organization, but the International
Paralympic logo has changed too. The new
International Paralympic logo consists of
three elements in red, blue and green - the
three colors that are most widely represented
in national flags around the world. The shape
of the three elements (Agitos) symbolizes
the new vision of the IPC "To Enable
Paralympic Athletes to Achieve Sporting Excellence
and to Inspire and Excite the World".
The universality of the Paralympics Movement
is shown through the round shape of the entire
logo - symbolizing the globe. The previous
logo incorporated the Tae-Geuk, which is
a traditional Korean decorative motif.
Explore the new International
Paralympic logo, Canadian
Paralympic Logo, and Athens
Paralympics emblems and get a jump
on the Torino
2006 , Beijing
2008, and Vancouver
2010 Paralympic Games.
Check Out These Paralympics Lessons and Webquests
Paralympic athletes come from all over the
world and each has a unique story. One
thing they all have in common is the desire
and determination to overcome obstacles. Jessica
Galli, is one of the top wheel chair
racers in the U.S. She was the youngest
member of the USA Track & Field Team
at the 2000 Paralympic games in Sydney
when she won the silver medal in the 800
meter. Blind Judo athlete, Scott
Moore took the gold in Sydney. He is
the first American to ever win a gold medal
in Olympic or Paralympic Judo!
Click on a link to learn more about the
sports on the Paralympic program are shared
with the Olympic Games:
Archery · Athletics (Track & Field) · Basketball · Cycling · Equestrian · Fencing · Football
(7-a-side) · Judo · Sailing · Shooting · Swimming · Table
Tennis · Tennis · Volleyball
Don't forget to check out the
four “unique” sports that are
played at the Paralympic Games:
Boccia · Goalball · Powerlifting · Rugby
Check your answers to these trivia
questions about the Paralympic Games by
clicking on the sports link
or by exploring the links in the above
- In this event, the team
that scores 11 points first wins the game.
- Which unique Paralympic sport uses a
white ball called a "jack"?
- Paralympics world records exceed able
bodied records in four weight categories
in which event?
- Men and women compete on equal terms
in this multi-disability sport.