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Going For Gold

Going For Gold
Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rio is the beautiful landscape where the 2016 Paralympics will be held. With over 176 countries participating, there will be a lot of tough competition. For people who were born with a disability or were in a tragic accident, the Paralympics is something they can strive for. There are 31 veterans on team USA that went through life altering events such as illness and combat injuries. 

History Of The Paralympics

The Paralympics started in 1948 when Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition where there were two World War Two vets that had spinal injuries. From there they added more and more disability groups, thus growing the athlete numbers. In 1960 they had 300 athletes from 23 countries in Rome, which grew to 3,806 athletes from 136 countries in Athens in 2004. 

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the organization that is in charge of organizing the summer and winter Paralympics Games. The Paralympic Games is the ultimate international competition for world class athletes with disabilities. They are every two years like the Olympics and athletes must meet strict qualifying standards in order to compete.

Disability Categories

These are the different categories in which athletes are paired for sporting events.

  • Amputees: Athletes with a partial or total loss of at least one limb.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Athletes with non-progressive brain damage. Some examples are traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy or similar disabilities that affect muscle control, balance or coordination.
  • Wheelchair: Athletes that have to use a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury or other disabilities that require them to compete in a wheelchair.
  • Visually Impaired: Athletes with vision impairments ranging from partial vision to completely blind.
  • Other disabilities: There are some disabilities that do not fall under the above categories such as dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, or congenital deformities of the limbs.

Paralympic Sports

Right now there are 22 sports in this year’s Paralympic games. However there are two that will be added to the 2020 Paralympics. Para-Badminton and Para-Taekwondo. There are also four other sports that hope to be added in the upcoming years: amputee football, basketball- intellectual impairment, electric wheelchair hockey and powerchair football.  All of these sports are getting a growing number of participants and they would like to see these as Paralympic sports.

How To Help Veterans

With the Paralympics starting we have a great way for you to celebrate. You can donate your unwanted vehicle to Vehicle For Veterans benefiting veteran charities. We make the donating process fast and easy all you have to do is call 1-855-811-4838 or fill out our online donation form. We will call you to set up the best time for us to pick up your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if it runs or if it no longer runs we will pick up your vehicle free of charge. Donate your vehicle today!

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