Paralympic Games – What is it?

Paralympic Games are periodic series of international multi-sport events involving athletes, who are physically disabled in some way. The Paralympic Games are organized a few days after the Summer Olympic Games. The Paralympic Games are held in the same venue as the Summer Olympics. For example, the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics was followed by the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Several sports have subcategories based on the disabilities of the athletes. In short, Paralympic Games are Olympic Games that are meant for persons with disabilities to compete in international sports.

Like Summer and Winter Olympics, Paralympic Games also have a winter version, right after the Winter Olympics. The first Winter Paralympics was held in Sochi in Russia in 2014. The first Summer Paralympics date way back to Rome in 1960. Since their inception, Paralympic Games have evolved and expanded far and wide due to the different types of disabilities athletes possess.

India has a good record at the Paralympic Games. India’s first-ever individual medal came in 1972 when Murlikant Petkar broke the world record in 50m freestyle to win the gold medal. India’s second gold medal was won by Devendra Jhajaria in javelin throw in 2004. Recent successes at Rio Paralympics 2016 has put India’s hopes for many future medal contenders. Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia bagged another gold medal in javelin throw, while Mariyappan Thangavelu won gold in the high jump. The high jump event also had India’s Varun Singh Bhati as the bronze medal winner. The veteran shot putter, Deepa Malik, got silver at shot put.

Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 is now underway in Tokyo, Japan. The Games began on 24th August 2021 and will continue up to 5th September. Along with the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Paralympics had been postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the world. Now, the Paralympic Games has begun, India will now once again look forward to the medal contenders. After historic success at Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, India will hope to repeat the same and add more medals to her campaign at Tokyo in Tokyo Summer Paralympics 2020.

Written by – Himadri Paul

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