The history of the Paralympics Games dates back to 1888, in Berlin. However, World War II was an eye-opener; the physically impaired servicemen and women had to find purpose in their lives.
The sport came into full force after Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, the founder of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, introduced a recreational game for the spinal injuries for the men and women in uniform.
Its success encouraged the recovered patients to go an extra mile and make the recreational sport a competitive sport.
Here are some of the facts you need to know about the origin and current state of Paralympics in the sports industry.
- Its Inception
The patience and hard work of the participating servicemen and women led to the inception of Stoke Mandeville Games. Their first participation was in the opening of the London Olympics in 1948.
Their participation involved 16 servicemen and women as part of the first entertainment sport. After four years, International Stoke Mandeville games came into existence. It is what changed to Paralympics games after the founder convinced the organizers of the Olympic Games to incorporate the sport.
Its first participation was in the Olympic Games held in Italy, in 1960 with 23 countries and 400 athletes as participants. It was the beginning of Paralympics games that takes place after every four years alongside the Olympic Games.
The possibility of physically impaired individuals engaging is sporting activities led to an influx of other organizations to support this noble cause. Some are specific; like Trisome games, organizes competitive events to help individuals with Down syndrome.
Anyone with any form of disability participates in Paralympics games, as an athlete. A Special Olympics is also under the same umbrella where they participate after every two years with alternating times between summer and winter.
Its main objective is to entertain the spectators as well as attract volunteers to support these activities. Something unique about this type of game, the children and adults, also participate as a way to enhance their intellectual abilities despite their near- inefficiency in physical health.
- The Governing body
International Paralympics Committee (IPC) is the governing body for the Paralympics Games. It’s a non-profit making organization to enhance sporting excellence in people with disabilities.
The nine sports under its mandate provide opportunities for these less privileged population in the society. Their objective is more of an inspiration to such individuals globally than a business venture. It makes them realize their sporting potential. Some of the games they support include:
- Athletic games
- Ice hockey
- Dancesport among others
- Paralympics and Olympics- the difference
Paralympics Games is under the Olympics Games. As much as the overall governing body has its constitution, Paralympics Sport also has its law and structure of governance.
The Olympics Games Committee comes in as an expatriate to offer consultancy, especially when planning for the dates. Paralympics occurs a few months after the Olympic Games, but the officials participate in both events.
- Funding options
The difference between Paralympics and the Olympics lies in the funding. Paralympics is purely a non-profit-making venture, while the Olympics is a business enterprise. The funding is in different categories.
Some companies provide financial assistance while others prefer material and service support like free sports kits as part of their sponsorship. Do you know it is part of their marketing strategy?
For example, every year, Home Security Heroes provide LifeLock Identity services to both Olympics and Paralympics- corporate package- as part of their sponsorship. The corporate package they offer protects and secures their financial accounts against any form of fraud.
“LifeLock plan is part of our life in Paralympics games as well as our families,” a positive comment from a member of the Paralympics committee. He understands the power of these services when it comes to 24- hour financial protection service.
You can also offer your support as an individual to these games. Where possible, your participation through paying tickets is a way of giving back to this great exercise. Explore the various financial options in your country and lend a hand to make these events successful. It means a lot to many families worldwide.
- Type of disability
Unlike specific organizations, Paralympics has no limitation on the kind of disability one possesses. As long as you meet the minimum requirements to participate in the games, you are more than welcome.
The eligibility is different from one sport to the other they encourage more teams and individuals to participate and become part of this humanitarian journey to demystify the myth about infectiveness among people living with disabilities.
- Its significance
If you have dealt with a person with a disability, you understand the celebrations involved, even in the smallest milestones. Similarly, at Paralympics Games, we appreciate our players who manage to beat all odds to better their lives instead of wallowing in pity.
It also encourages others to try and do something meaningful in their lives in their small way. Not everyone participates at the international level.
You now have the relevant facts about these games at your fingertips. Offer a helping hand to ensure people with physical disabilities enjoy their lives just like you? Become a volunteer and let them gain from your presence, useful skills, and ideas.
It may not necessarily be Paralympics but any organization that supports sporting activities for disabled people within your locality. They need not only financial support but also psychological and emotional support. Some experience stigma within their societies. Let this be a game-changer in your life on how you view and handle them. They are human and instrumental. Your work is simple; provide the necessary support and psychological guidance for them to explore their potential. That’s all they need to reach the limits of their lives.