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Factbox: Brief introduction of Paralympic Games
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20:23, September 06, 2008

The 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games will be held in Beijing from Sept. 6 to 17, which attracts over 4,000 athletes from 147 countries and regions.

Following are some facts about the Paralympic Games.

History of Paralympic Games:

In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition involving World War II veterans with a spinal cord injury in Stoke Mandeville, England. Four years later, competitors from the Netherlands joined the games and an international movement was born.

Olympic style games for athletes with a disability were organized for the first time in Rome in 1960, now called Paralympics.

In Toronto in 1976, other disability groups were added and the idea of merging together different disability groups for international sport competitions was born. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.

The movement has grown dramatically since its first days. The number of athletes participating in Summer Paralympic Games has increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries in Rome in 1960 to 3,806 athletes from 136 countries and regions in Athens in 2004.

The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games and the Albertville 1992 Winter Paralympic Games they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympics. On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between the IOC and IPC securing this practice for the future. From the 2012 bid process onwards, the host city chosen to host the Olympic Games will be obliged to also host the Paralympics.

Past Paralympic Summer Games:

1960 Paralympic Games, Rome, Italy

1964 Paralympic Games, Tokyo, Japan

1968 Paralympic Games, Tel Aviv, Israel

1972 Paralympic Games, Heidelberg, Germany

1976 Paralympic Games, Toronto, Canada

1980 Paralympic Games, Arnhem, Netherlands

1984 Paralympic Games, Stoke Mandeville, Britain & New York, United States

1988 Paralympic Games, Seoul, South Korea

1992 Paralympic Games, Barcelona, Spain

1996 Paralympic Games, Atlanta, United States

2000 Paralympic Games, Sydney, Australia

2004 Paralympic Games, Athens, Greece 

Paralympic Games Principles:

Quality - The essential principles with respect to grade of excellence; accomplishment and/or attainment: Elite; Exciting; Inspirational; Fair Play.

Quantity - The principle that establish parameters and/or conditions necessary for success: Viable; Sustainable/Dynamic.

Universality - The collective principles or conditions that ensure and reflect a diverse movement: Global; Balance.


Visual impairment (IBSA): B1, B2, B3;

Cerebral palsy (CP-ISRA) : 1-4 (with wheelchairs), 5-8 (without wheelchairs);

Spinal cord injuries: 1A, 1B, 1C (quadriplegia); 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (paraplegia)

Amputee and other limb disabilities: Amputee: A1-A9; other limb disabilities: L1-L6.

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