The Paralympics Continue!

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Custom medals are known across the board to be one of the highest respected and most memorable ways to celebrate victory in sports.

What are the Paralympics?
When did the Paralympics start?

Officially started in 1960 for the Rome, Italy games, the Paralympics began with over 400 athletes of varying abilities, competing from 23 countries.  Because the inspiration came from Dr. Guttmann who had been organizing the International Wheelchair Games to coincide with the Olympics since 1948, the first Paralympics invited only those in wheelchairs.

Things have changed over time and now the Paralympics include five major classifications of athletes; persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and a classification called Les Autres or athletes with physical disabilities that are not included in the categories mentioned above.

What started out as only Summer games, expanded to include Winter as well.

“The Paralympics are held in two seasons: summer and winter. Athletes with disabilities have been competing in the Winter Games since 1976. Sweden hosted the first Winter Games, which included 12 countries competing in Alpine and Cross-Country Skiing events. Initially, the Paralympic and Olympic Games were implemented at different times, but in 1992 the approach was modified. Now the Paralympic and Olympic Games are held within two weeks of each other using the same venues and the same organizing committee.”

The Paralympic Games have become second only to the actual Olympics themselves and are a testament to what the Olympics have already been established to be.  A vision of sportsmanship, triumph, work, diligence and a shining example of the human spirit.

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