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The Paralympics portal

The Official Paralympic Symbol
The Opening Ceremony for the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.

The Paralympic Games, or Paralympics, are a major international multi-sport event, where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy.

There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, and they are held immediately following their respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The Paralympics have grown from a small collection of British World War II veterans in 1948 to the second-largest international sport event in 2008.

The formal explanation of the term "Paralympic" is that it derives from the Greek preposition παρά, pará ("beside" or "alongside") and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games. The Summer Games of 1988 held in Seoul was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.

Image credit: Scholz & Friends
Image credit: Alexignatiou

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Flag of the United States

The United States competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China. A total of 213 U.S. competitors took part in 18 sports; the only 2 sports Americans did not compete in were soccer 5-a-side and 7-a-side. The American delegation included 16 former members of the U.S. military, including 3 veterans of the Iraq War. Among them were shot putter Scott Winkler, who was paralyzed in an accident in Iraq, and swimmer Melissa Stockwell, a former United States Army officer who lost her left leg to a roadside bomb in the war.

The United States finished third in the gold and overall medal count, behind host nation China and Great Britain. The finish was an improvement from the 2004 Paralympics, where the U.S. finished fourth in the gold and overall medal count. The U.S. saw significant gains in Paralympic swimming, winning 17 gold medals and 44 total medals, 9 more than they took home from Athens. U.S. swimmers set a total of 16 world records, 23 Paralympic records, 48 Pan American records and 99 American records. U.S. coverage of the Games was provided by the Universal Sports Television Network and the official website of the U.S. Paralympic Team, usparalympics.org.

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Alpine skiing pictured on a stamp commemorating the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver.
Credit: Deutsche Post

Alpine skiing pictured on a German stamp commemorating the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada.

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Pistorius taking part in an event in Iceland

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius (born 22 November 1986) is a South African Paralympic runner. Known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs", Pistorius, who has a double amputation, is the world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 metres T44 events. In 2008 he attempted to qualify to represent South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Having had an IAAF band on the use of his artificial lower legs overturned he failed to achieve the required qualifying time by 0.70 seconds but went on to compete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he won three gold medals.

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Paralympics Task Force

  • The Paralympics Task Force is a task force that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in Paralympics related articles.
  • The aim of this project is to standardize and improve articles related to the Paralympics, as well as to create any missing articles.
  • To become a member of this Task Force (anyone may join), simply click here - and add {{user|YourUsernameHere}}
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Paralympic Games
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