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Official website of the Paralympic Movement

The IPC - What we do

Paralympic Games

Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez of Spain
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The London 2012 Paralympic Games broke all records with more than 4,250 athletes from 164 countries taking part in 20 sports and a record 2.7 million tickets were sold to spectators.

The Paralympic Games are the pinnacle of the career of Paralympic athletes and motivate others to participate or engage in Paralympic sports.

They showcase the achievements of athletes with an impairment to a global audience and act as a primary vehicle to change societal perceptions and leave lasting legacies.

They were first held in Rome, Italy in 1960 and featured 400 athletes from 23 countries competing in 13 sports.

Since then the Games have taken place every four years in the same year as the Olympic Games.

In 1976, the first Paralympic Winter Games were held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden and attracted over 250 athletes from 17 countries.

Ever since the Seoul 1988 and Albertville 1992, the Games have also taken place in the same venues as the Olympics.

This arrangement has been formalized with the IOC since 2000 through a co-operation agreement.

Over the years the Paralympic Games have grown dramatically attracting more athletes, countries, sports, spectators and media coverage.

The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games saw 3,951 athletes from 146 countries compete in 20 sports. Around 3.5 million spectators saw the Games in the venues and the cumulated worldwide television audience was close to 3.8 billion.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games broke all records with more than 4,250 athletes from 164 countries taking part in 20 sports and a record 2.7 million tickets were sold to spectators.

The Games are now one of the world’s largest multi-sport events.

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