HANDICAPPED OLYMPIANS

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The Olympics are over for thousands of athletes and athletic fans, meaning people will now turn their attention to college football and the NFL. However, there is another sort of Olympic Games being held: The Paralympics. The Paralympics are the athletic events that not many pay attention to because they are not on every television channel like The Olympics were. These events are definitely something to watch, because these athletes overcome many challenges in order to compete.

The Paralympics started in 1948 when Ludwig Guttmann, a German neurologist, organized a sports competition which involved veterans that had spinal injuries. More disability groups were added later, making the event open to a wider variety of disabled athletes. The name “Paralympic Games” refers to the event being parallel to the Olympic Games, as well as having a connection to paraplegic athletes.

The 2012 Paralympics are being held from August 29 to September 9 in London. Athletes from 164 countries will participate, 17 more than the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Many sports are the same as those in the Olympics, including archery, cycling, rowing, table tennis, and volleyball. Sports uniquely catered to The Paralympics include wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.

By:Lauren Keyser