The inspirational Paralympic athletes have returned on 24th August 2021 until 5th September 2021 to Tokyo after a long awaited 12 months.

Though athletes with disabilities have competed in the Olympic Games since 1904, it wasn’t until the 1948 London Olympics was an event specifically for disabled athletes created. Called the International Wheelchair Games or Stoke Mandeville Games, a small number of British World War II veterans with spinal injuries competed, later in 1952 Dutch and Iserali veterans competed as well. The 1976 Toronto Olympics is when the Paralympic Games we know today began to take shape, with the 1988 Seoul Olympics being the first to hold Paralympic Game directly after the Olympic Games.

Originally with its origins with only wheelchair athletes, the ‘Para’ in Paralympics referred to paraplegia, a disability of the lower body. But with the inclusion of other disability groups ‘Para’ meant beside or alongside, referring to being held parallel to the Olympic Games.

There are only 2 known Paralympic athletes on the Autistic Spectrum, due to rules around the ‘Intellectual Impairment’ category. These athletes being Jessica-Jane Applegate of Team GB and Michael Brannigan of Team USA.

Photo by Scazon on Flickr

Wellbeing Guide

Take a look at our wellbeing guide to the Tokyo Paralympic Games and be inspired by some of the best athletes in the world!