Paralympics – 29th August – 9th September
The summer of sport continues with the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games tonight and carrying the Olympic flame through the London boroughs were some of the extraordinary athletes.
As the second largest sporting event this summer, we‚Äôre sure the Olympic spirit will continue throughout the country and the world. Established just over 50 years ago in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, the Paralympics are relatively young. But using sport to improve people‚Äôs health, wellbeing and recuperation has been a tried and tested technique. In World War II, an English doctor known as the ‚ÄúFather of Sport for People with Disabilities‚ÄĚ encouraged soldiers who were wounded during the war to use sport to help them. He organised an international Games to coincide with the London Olympics in 1948. The competitions was against clubs and hospitals, and in 1960 the first Paralympics were born in Rome. They included just 400 athletes from 23 countries, but back then, only wheelchair athletes competed.
Nowadays the Paralympic Games include five major groups of athletes. These include those who are:
-¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Visually impaired
-¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Physical disabled
-¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Have cerebral palsy
-¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Have spinal cord injuries
Competition and team spirit help athletes compete to the best of their ability, whether participating in the Olympics or Paralympics. The value of sport for athletes with disabilities extends far beyond its rehabilitative benefit and once again the country is celebrating the fantastic achievements of these incredible athletes.
Good luck to everyone participating – go for gold!