Just when you thought the Olympics were over – they are actually just beginning for some athletes! Today marks the opening ceremonies for the paralympic games in Sochi, Russia. The paralympic games are held immediately following the respective Winter and Summer Olympic games.
These games are formatted just like that of the Olympics with the opening, closing and medal ceremonies – The only difference is there are fewer sports, athletes and the competition is over a span of 9 days. Paralympic athletes are grouped together in their respective sports based on six categories: amputee, Cerebral Palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired and Les Autres, or “The Others” (which can range from dwarfism to congenital disorders).
The paralympic athletes are given the same opportunity to compete in the Olympics as the other athletes and many have qualified and some have even medaled. With the inclusion of many more disabilities in the paralympics the games have expanded and now host over 1,600 athletes from 46 countries. The sports included in the paralympic games are:
Within the five listed major events there are several smaller events, giving paralympic athletes the opportunity to showcase their hard-work and dedication towards their sport.
We look forward to seeing the outcome of the games and wish all the athletes the best of luck. Follow the Paralympic games and stay up to date on the medal count. What country do you think will be bringing home the most medals during the 2014 paralympic winter games?