The Paralympic Games are held for athletes with mental and physical disabilties. The Paralymics are held on September 6-17. The athletes are divided in to five groups depending on their handicap. The categories include: spinal cord injuries, amputees, visual impairment, cerebral palsy and those who don’t fit others. There are 20 main events this year, other sports like wheelchair rugby and goal ball are also included. The visually impaired compete in separate events. The deaf compete in their own competition called the “Deaflympics”. The next Deaflympic will be held in Taiwan next year.
The Paralympics started when a German- born Jewish doctor, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, was working in a hospital and thought that sports could help patients to recovery. In 1948, Guttmann organized a competition, which was the first official Paralympics.
China is hoping to win the most gold medals this year. When China won the rights to hold the Olympics, China’s government donated a whole lot of money to the disabled athletes. In the Beijing Olympics, China won: 51 Gold; 21 Silver; 28 Bronze; 100 Total, making China first place in the Olympics, this shows China’s outstanding determination to win. This determination should carry over the Paralympics as well.