Learn more about Paralympic Games
The Paralympic Games are an elite multi-sport event for athletes with physical disabilities. This includes mobility disabilities, amputees, visual disabilities and those with cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, following the Olympic Games, and are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). (The Paralympic Games are sometimes confused with the Special Olympics, which are only for people with intellectual disabilities.)
Sir Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition in 1948 which became known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, involving World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries; in 1952 competitors from the Netherlands took part in the competition, giving an international notion to the movement. The first Olympic-style games for athletes with a disability were held in Rome in 1960; officially called the 9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games, these are considered to be the first Paralympic Games.  The first Winter Paralympics were held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden in 1976. 
Since 1988, the Summer Paralympics have been held in the conjunction with the Olympic Games in the same host city. This practice was adopted in 1992 for the Winter Paralympics, and became an official policy of the International Olympic Committee and the IPC following a June 19, 2001 agreement. The Games take place three weeks after the closing of the Olympics, in the same host city and using the same facilities. Cities bidding to host the Olympic Games must include the Paralympic Games in their bid, and typically both Games are now run by a single organizing committee.
In the 1996 Atlanta Games athletes with intellectual disabilities were allowed to participate for the first time. However following cheating in the 2000 Sydney Games, in which non-disabled athletes were entered in the Spanish Basketball ID team , such athletes were banned by the IPC . Following an anti-corruption drive, the International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability (INAS-FID) lobbied to have these athletes reinstated. Beginning in 2004, athletes with an intellectual disability began to be re-integrated into Paralympic sport competitions, although they remain excluded from the Paralympic Games.  The IPC has stated that it will re-evaluate their participation following the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
 Summer Games
 Winter Games
- 1976 Winter Paralympics, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
- 1980 Winter Paralympics, Geilo, Norway
- 1984 Winter Paralympics, Innsbruck, Austria
- 1988 Winter Paralympics, Innsbruck, Austria
- 1992 Winter Paralympics, Tignes-Albertville, France
- 1994 Winter Paralympics, Lillehammer, Norway
- 1998 Winter Paralympics, Nagano, Japan
- 2002 Winter Paralympics, Salt Lake City, United States of America
- 2006 Winter Paralympics, Turin, Italy
- 2010 Winter Paralympics, Vancouver, Canada
 Summer sports
The following sports are currently on the Summer Paralympic Games programme:
- Football 5-a-side
- Football 7-a-side
- Table Tennis
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair fencing
- Wheelchair rugby
- Wheelchair tennis
- Volleyball (sitting)
These sports will be part of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.
 Winter sports
The following sports are on the current Winter Paralympic Games programme:
 Disability categories
- Amputee: An athlete with a partial or total loss of at least one limb.
- Cerebral Palsy: People who have non-progressive brain damage, for example cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke or a similar problem affecting muscle control, balance or coordination.
- Intellectual Disability: An athlete who has a significant impairment in intellectual functioning with associated limitations in adaptive behaviour. This category is currently suspended.
- Wheelchair: For all athletes with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities which require them to compete in a wheelchair. Athletes must have at least 10 per cent loss of function to their lower limbs.
- Vision-Impaired: Athletes who have a vision impairment ranging from partial vision (sufficient to be judged legally blind) to total blindness.
- Les Autres: French for the others and includes competitors with a mobility impairment or other loss of physical function that does not fall strictly under one of the other five categories. Dwarfism, multiple sclerosis or birth deformities of the limbs such as that caused by thalidomide are examples of this.
The categories apply for both summer and winter paralympics.
The IPC has set up national Paralympic Games for competitions organized under the national Paralympic Committees.
 External links
- Official Canadian Website
- Official IPC Website
- IMNO Interviews Curt Brinkman Five-time Paralympic Gold Medallist
- CBC Digital Archives - Playing to Win: Canada at the Paralympics
 See also
el:Παραολυμπιακοί Αγώνες es:Juegos Paralímpicos fr:Jeux paralympiques ko:패럴림픽 it:Giochi Paralimpici he:אולימפיאדת הנכים nl:Paralympische Spelen ja:パラリンピック no:Paralympiske leker pl:Igrzyska paraolimpijskie pt:Jogos Paraolímpicos ru:Паралимпийские игры simple:Paralympic Games fi:Paralympialaiset sv:Paralympiska spelen tr:Paralimpik Oyunları zh:残疾人奥林匹克运动会