Remarkable athletes at the Paralympics

September 7, 2012

The Summer Paralympic Games in London ended Sunday. Almost 4,300 athletes from 166 countries competed in 20 sports. All of the athletes competed despite their disabilities. Some were blind or had lost limbs. Others had diseases or condition that made the physical aspects of playing sports very difficult for them.

Disabled athletes have competed in the Olympics. You may have read that Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner who had his legs amputated (or removed) when he was a baby, competed in the London Olympics.

But the idea for a high-level sports competition for people with disabilities came from a doctor named Ludwig Guttmann. The first competition of its type was held 64 years ago, in 1948. The athletes in those games were all men who had been wounded in World War II, and they competed in events including archery and javelin throwing. He described his sporting event as a “parallel games” to the Olympics. That’s how the name Paralympic Games came to be.

On this pa ge, you’ll see photos from the Paralympics. We hope it makes you see how some things that may seem impossible are achievable. We also hope it makes you think twice about whining!

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