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.
Great Britain fielded twelve athletes in total; a team of five in wheelchair curling, and seven athletes in alpine skiing. The team failed to win a medal for the first time since the 2002 Games, when just two British athletes competed, and although several of the squad finished with top ten results, the overall outcome was described as disappointing. Kelly Gallagher came closest to a medal, finishing fourth in the giant slalom for visually-impaired athletes. Britain will be hosting the next Games when London hosts the 2012 Summer Paralympics.