What are the Paralympics?

Heard of the Paralympics before, but don't really know much about it? Read on.

Madeline Greene, Sports Editor

Since beginning as a small gathering of athletic veterans after World War II, the Paralympic Games have been an international sporting event that celebrates the athletes with disabilities competing for their countries. As early as 1904, athletes with disabilities were competing in the Olympic Games. The first organized athletic event for athletes with disabilities was in 1948, at the London Summer Games. The first official Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy in 1960 and included 400 athletes from 23 countries. The “International Coordinating Committee Sports for the Disabled in the World” was created in 1982.
Paralympians are open to compete in the Olympic Games, where the participants are generally athletes without disabilities compete. The general Paralympic is someone with a physical disability that hinders their mobility, such as athletes with amputations, blindness, or skeletal diseases. In addition to the Paralympics, the Special Olympic Games allows athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete, and the Deaflympics allow deaf athletes to compete. Their athleticism leads them to success in competitions. In the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the United States swim team finished second overall with fifty four medals. These athletes can also be inspirational. Ellie Simmonds, a British Paralympic swimmer with dwarfism, has achieved five gold medals over the course of her Olympic Career. She won her first two gold medals at the age of thirteen, in the Beijing Summer olympics.
These athletes are absolutely amazing and talented, and bring pride to their countries in their competitions. But my question to you is: Have you ever watched the Paralympic Games broadcasted on television? As the 2018 Winter Olympics approaches, I challenge you to watch the Paralympic Games along with the Olympic Games to fully celebrate international athleticism.