Paralympics Essay

1168 WordsDec 6, 20125 Pages
Paralympics: Wheelchair Racing The Paralympics can be described in five words: exciting, occasionally baffling, always inspiring. Men and women of all disabilities come together to compete in the hardest battle ever: their limits. Whether it is with visual impairment or spinal disrupter, these Olympians will stop at nothing to get the gold in these heart retching games of hardships and trail. One such trail is track and field, specifically wheelchair racing. Having a short but equally gratifying history as Olympic track and field, wheelchair racing has strict rules and regulations of who can participate, and rolling equipment that must measure up to rigorous standards in order for the competitors to compete. Wheelchair racing does not have as long a history as its Olympic neighbor. Being around since the 1960s, wheelchair racing is Paralympic equivalent to the Olympic track. Idealized from the mess of World War I, “Sir Lugwig Guttmann, director of the Spinal Injuries Center at Stroke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England, introduced competitive sports as a part of rehabilitation for injured veterans during the aftermath of World War II” (IPC, Track Events). Carrying on from Sir Lugwig Guttmann’s inspiring work, “The International Sports Organization for the Disabled, or ISOD, was formed in Paris in 1964. In 1976, the Olympiad for the Physically Disabled was expanded to include other impairments besides spinal injuries, such as athletes with cerebral palsy” (IPC, Track Events). Regardless of its origin, the real importance of creating wheelchair racing, the event that helped pave the way for other track, field, and sporting competitions for the disabled, was to help remind the world of the importance of recognizing the value of physically and mentally injured people, whether they be injured veterans who sacrificed their lives for their country or born
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