Paralympic Games or Paralympics is an international multi-sport event for athletes with a range of disabilities. The event usually takes place every two years and almost immediately after the Olympic Games. There are two versions of Paralympic games — Winter and Summer Games. All Paralympic Games are managed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Athletes who participate have a range of disabilities including impaired muscle power, hypertonia, ataxia, vision impairment, intellectual impairment, etc.
Given the different types of disabilities, there are several categories for the Paralympic athletes to compete in. There are ten eligible impairment types. The categories are muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. They are further broken down into different classifications depending on the sport.
Paralympics began for the first time in 1948 with a small gathering of British World War II veterans. Now it has become one of the largest international sporting events with thousands of competitors from 100 countries. Paralympians want equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes but there is a huge gap in funding for Paralympic games compared to Olympic Games.
The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome in 1960. 400 athletes from 23 countries took part in the Games. It was initially open only to athletes in wheelchairs. Later in the 1976 Summer Paralympic Games, athletes with other disabilities were also included.
It is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The body comprises 176 National Paralympic Committees and four disability-specific international sports federations. Currently, the IPC is headed by Brazilian sports administrator and journalist, Andrew Parsons.
The IPC manages the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. It is also the international federation for 9 sports. It regulates World Championships and other competitions for each of the 9 sports it manages.