The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games included 22 sports and 4,328 athletes from 159 countries and territories. Athletes must achieve high requirements set by the International Paralympic Committee in order to compete in the Paralympic Games (IPC). These include having a disability that affects their physical ability but not their intellect.
Out of the 4,328 athletes at the Rio Paralympics, more than 1,000 are competing for gold, silver, or bronze medals. The other 3,328 are participating in para-sports that can be performed independently of one another but cannot be combined with any other sport. These include athletics, archery, basketball, swimming, table tennis, and wheelchair rugby.
The Paralympics were created by the IPC which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. The IPC is a non-profit organization that works with governments to establish new policies for people with disabilities. Some notable achievements by the IPC include making wheelchair rugby an official sport in 1988 and developing adaptive sailing classes for visually impaired sailors in 2000.
The Rio Paralympics began on 5 August and will end on 18 September. A total of 934 events will be held during this time period with athletes from around the world coming together to compete in the different sports.
With 19 competitors representing India in five sports categories at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, India had its greatest ever representation at the Games. It was also the country's best-ever showing, with a total of four medals (two gold, one silver, and one bronze).
India has made significant strides in the past decade or so in providing opportunities to people with disabilities. The National Sports Federation for the Physically Disabled (NSFP) was established in 1969 and is affiliated to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). It supports around 15,000 disabled athletes across India. There are also several other national organizations that work with different groups of disability athletes.
At the Rio Paralympics, India won two gold medals - one each from women's sitting volleyball and men's wheelchair rugby. This is the first time India has won two gold medals at a single edition of the Games.
In 2009, Indian athletes set three new records at the Beijing Paralympics: most gold medals (four), most medals overall (19), and highest percentage of victories (57.9%). These figures were better than those of previous years at all three events – athletics, swimming, and table tennis.
Indian athletes have been successful in recent years at the Games. They have won more than they did in 2008 when they came fifth with 39 medals (out of 94 nations that participated).
Athletes compete in up to 22 Summer Paralympic sports and six Winter Paralympic sports, as stated below. Many of the sports include many disciplines or events, with the number and kind of events varying from one Paralympic Games to the next.
There is no limit on the number of medal categories that can be competed in simultaneously. For example, athletes can win a gold medal in swimming and a silver medal in athletics if they qualify for both events.
At the 2012 London Paralympics, 497 athletes from 47 countries participated in the games, with nearly half (47%) competing in archery. The most popular sport at the games was wheelchair basketball, which included men's, women's, and mixed teams who were among the finalists in each event. There were also several other finals including the men's sitting volleyball game. Swimming accounted for 21% of all medals won at the games.
In total, there are 22 different sports at the Paralympics. Not all sports are available to every athlete, though. Some people may have physical limitations that make some sports impossible for them to participate in. Other people may not have any such limitations but may still decide not to compete in certain sports because they think it will make them look bad in front of their friends and family.
Rio 2016 may have done more for the Paralympic Movement than any previous Games, with record TV viewership, over 2.1 million devoted fans, and remarkable results by Para athletes. Over the course of 12 days, 4,328 para athletes (2,657 men and 1,671 women) from 159 countries competed...Paralympians come in all shapes and sizes, they can be single arm or two-handed competitors, they can compete in athletics, archery, swimming, or wheelchair basketball among other events. The only requirement to become a paralympian is to suffer from a permanent disability that prevents you from playing sports regularly or competitively.
There are three types of Paralympians: classification, team, and universal. Classification Paralympians compete according to their physical abilities rather than their disabilities. They are assigned a disability class based on their functional impairment and this determines what sport they can participate in. For example, a person who is blind in one eye and has no hand movement will be classified as P3/P4 depending on which eye and limb he or she is unable to use. This athlete would be able to compete in alpine skiing competitions.
Team Paralympians represent their country at the Paralympics. The number of players on a team is usually equal to the number of available spots on the roster. For example, if there are only five female swimmers in a competition then the country would be required to send a boat containing six females.
Athletics events at the 2016 Summer Paralympics were contested from September to October 2016 at the Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There were 177 events offered among two genders, with 1100 athletes competing. The most popular sport was athletics with 166 participants (14% of all sports events).
The number of paralympians has increased over the years. In 1976, there were only seven athletes who competed as blind, deaf, or disabled. Now, that number has increased to more than 700 people. There are currently 201 countries participating in the Paralympics, which is a increase of five since 2004.
In 2012, Spain had the most athletes at the Games with 19 competitors. Japan had the highest number of gold medals with 21. China was second with 16 gold medals and France was third with 15 gold medals. USA had the most silver medals with 46 and Canada had the most bronze medals with 51.
There are three types of athletes who can compete at the Paralympics: ambulatory athletes with an impairment that does not prevent them from walking; limb-function athletes with an impairment that affects the limbs but not their ability to walk; and vision-impaired athletes with no ability to see.
According to Maps of the World, athletes who will compete in Rio de Janeiro. The United States leads with 555 athletes, followed by Brazil (465), Germany (425), China (413), Australia (410), and France (404).
The most successful nation at the Olympics is Canada with 46 medals, including 14 golds. The United States is second with 38 medals, including 12 golds.
These are the top 10 countries that have sent the most athletes to the Summer Olympic Games: United States, Brazil, Germany, China, Australia, France, India, Indonesia, and Mexico.
Of these countries, Australia, Russia, and Canada have won more than one medal each. Germany, Japan, and Italy have won two medals each. And Mexico, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago have won three medals each. No other country has won more than four medals.
France has a perfect 100 percent record of victories at the Olympics since its first appearance in 1896. The United States is next with 95 victories, followed by Great Britain and Russia with 31 wins each.
China and India have never won a single Olympic medal. Brazil, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Tunisia, and Venezuela have all competed in the Olympics, but have never won a single medal.