PARALYMPIC GAMES: HISTORY AND MODERNITY
It’s no secret that the more a person moves, the better his health. This truth applies to all, without exception, and especially to the disabled. Indeed, often the state and other people do not give them due attention. For many people with disabilities, playing sports is one of the few ways to show everyone that they are just like us. In addition, this is the most powerful factor for their rehabilitation.
Attempting people with disabilities to sports tried in the 19th century. This year, the first club for people with hearing loss was created in Berlin. Already in August 1924, the first competitions were held. The national teams of the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Poland, France and Czechoslovakia participated in them. It was also attended by Italian, Romanian and Hungarian athletes. These countries did not have federations then.
The Olympic Games included the following sports: cycling, athletics, shooting, swimming and football.
In the same year, on August 16, a committee (IOC) was formed for the deaf. In 1926, the charter of the new organization was adopted. It is from this date that they began to hold competitions for the deaf. Then other European countries – Germany, Denmark, Finland, Yugoslavia and Switzerland joined the IOCG. The remaining states of Europe joined these games only after the war.
For people with diseases of the musculoskeletal system as early as 1944, a specialized training program was developed in Stoke Mandeville, which became part of the general course of treatment. It was founded by Professor Ludwig Gutman. He also became the director of this center and the president of the association of disabled people.
In the summer of 1948, the largest paralympic games of the post-war era took place. Athletes from all over Western Europe came to the UK. The range of competitions has expanded significantly. In only one discipline – archery 16 athletes participated. The world community supported this idea. Games with the participation of a disabled person became a real holiday and since 1952 all European countries sent their sports delegations to competitions.
The categories of athletes expanded. Even people with spinal injuries could compete for a gold medal
In 1959, competition regulations were developed. In the early 90’s, athletes with a transplanted heart took part in the games, they even ran a marathon.
In addition to the Paralympic Games, the games “Olympus Hastened X” were very popular. They involved people with undeveloped mental abilities. All contributions to these competitions are made only by charitable foundations and private donations. The fees, in their usual sense for us, are not here. Age is not limited, since everyone has an equal chance of winning.
In 1972, about 1,000 athletes participated in these games. The most representative delegations were from Germany, France and England.
It was then that the competition was replenished with new disciplines (goal, hundred-metering for the blind), world records were set in swimming. The largest number of prizes won German and American athletes. In third place were South African athletes.
In addition to competitions, the organizers developed a wide cultural program. Also, for a concert program and other entertainment, a hut was installed in a local rehabilitation center.
The most spectacular 10th Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta (USA). They were attended by over 3000 athletes. 400 thousand spectators witnessed a bright sports festival. Competitions were held in 20 sports, 3 of them were demonstration ones. For the first time, athletes with mental disabilities competed in swimming and athletics.
During the competition in the Canadian city of Toronto, the performances of the athletes were broadcast by the media (television). There was a small bitter precipitate, some athletes, in sign of disagreement with apartheid policy, having learned that South African athletes would participate, refused to come to the competition.
Every year, the scope and number of participants expanded rapidly. By 2000, the number of participants exceeded 3880 people. There were representatives of 130 countries of the world. The largest number of participants was from Australia, Germany, USA, England, Sweden, Japan.
In addition to the summer, since 1976, the Paralympic Winter Games have also been held. In 1992, biathlon, alpine skiing and luge competitions were held. Russian athletes then performed under the united flag.
At 6 games, spectators for the first time could see competitions in sitting hockey.
Paralympic Games today
In Russia, within the framework of the Sochi Olympics, it is planned to hold the Winter Paralympic Games (March 8-16). Competitions will be held on the basis of the Rosa Khutor ski resort. They will be used by athletes with spinal injuries, with partial loss of limbs and vision.
All participants are divided into three groups:
* visually impaired;
The first group is accompanied by special guides who will give athletes voice commands.