You have probably seen the Olympic games in the news this summer. But have you heard of the Paralympics? “Para” means “alongside.” The Paralympic Games take place right after the Olympic games. They are in the same city as the Olympics. The Paralympic Games are international sports competitions for people with disabilities.
Some Paralympians have spinal cord injuries, so they may not be able to move their legs. Others have missing limbs. They may use wheelchairs or artificial limbs to move around. Some athletes have limited vision or medical issues that make it harder for them to move. The Paralympics gives these athletes the chance to compete at a high level.
In 1948, a doctor organized games for veterans who had lost use of their legs in World War II. Those games took place at the opening of the London Summer Olympics. The first official Paralympic Games were held in 1960 in Rome. The winter Paralympic games started in 1976 in Sweden.
The International Paralympic Committee formed in 1989 to help athletes with disabilities to excel in sports. They also hope to increase respect and admiration for people with disabilities.
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