Posted by: PPHR | January 25, 2010

18 Days Until the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games!

Did You Know?

The first Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and involved 400 athletes from 23 countries. Originally only wheelchair athletes were invited to compete. Since that time, the Paralympic Games have grown dramatically. The present day Paralympic Games include six major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries, and Les Autres – athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy).

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. In 1992, the four-year cycle was modified so that the winter and summer Paralympic Games coincide with the Olympics.

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