In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann organised a sports competition involving World War II veterans with a spinal cord-related injury in Stoke Mandeville, England. Four years later, competitors from Holland joined the Games, and the international movement, now known as the Paralympic Movement, was born.
Olympic-style games for athletes with a disability were organised for the first time in Rome in 1960. In Toronto in 1976, other disability groups were added and the idea of merging together different disability groups for international sports competitions was born. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.
The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the 1988 Seoul Summer Games and the 1992 Albertville Winter Games, they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympic Games.
On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee aimed at protecting the organisation of the Paralympic Games and securing the practice of "one bid, one city", meaning that the staging of the Paralympics is automatically included in the bid for the Olympic Games. The agreement addresses the general scope and organisation of the Paralympic Games, with the aim of creating similar principles for the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This agreement came into effect with the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, followed by the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Since the Salt Lake 2002 Games, one organising committee has been responsible for hosting both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. Athletes from both Games live in the same village and enjoy the same catering services, medical care and facilities. Ticketing, technology and transport systems for the Olympic Games are seamlessly extended to the Paralympics.
Immediately following the end of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, important transformations took place to prepare for the 2002 Winter Paralympics, held from 7 to 16 March 2002. Four hundred and sixteen athletes from 36 nations competed in Alpine and Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey at the Salt Lake City Paralympics.
The last Paralympic Summer Games were held in Beijing, China, from 6 to 17 September 2008. A total of 3,951 athletes from 146 countries competed in 20 sports in the state-of-the-art venues at the 2008 Paralympics.
The Canadian city of Vancouver hosted the Paralympic Winter Games from 12 to 21 March 2010. A total of 502 athletes from 44 countries took part in the following five sports: Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Cross-Country Skiing, Biathlon and Wheelchair Curling.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organises the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and coordinates the World Championships and other competitions.
The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for persons with a disability from beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation formed and run by 162 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability-specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.
For more information, please visit www.paralympic.org or
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The IPC organises, supervises and coordinates the Paralympic Games. Its enables Paralympic Athletes to achieve Sporting Excellence and Inspire and Excite the World.
International Paralympic Committee