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Sir Philip’s paralympic team yearns to play hoops with US President Obama

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture

“It’s surprising the impact [the Paralympics] really has on you… It’s an untapped fuel for humanity that we really need to start using.” - Bode Miller, U.S. Olympic Skier

Sir Philip CravenDecember 3, 2015 - The International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Since December 3, 1992, the world annually celebrates The International Day of Persons with Disabilities to promote awareness, knowledge, and support for critical problems related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons and from the period 1983 to 1992 was named the UN’s Decade of Disabled Persons.

According to the 2011 World Report on Disability, published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group, more than a billion people globally have some sort of disability, and 80 percent of them live in developing countries. One third of all out-of-school children have disabilities, and fewer than 2 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries are in school. More than 800 million individuals with physical and/or cognitive impairments live in poverty, 3.5 million of whom are refugees. Between 50-70 percent of them are unemployed.

The 2015 theme of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was: Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment for People of All Abilities. There were also three sub-themes: Making Cities Inclusive and Accessible for All; Improving Disability Data and Statistics; and Including Persons with Invisible Disabilities in Society and Development.

The best platform to celebrate humanity’s abilities, instead of (dis)abilities is the Paralympic Movement. The term “Paralympic” comes from the Greek preposition “para” (beside or alongside) and the word “Olympic”: parallel Games to the Olympics, which demonstrates how the two movements work hand-in-hand. “Paralympics” has been the official title of the Games since 1988.

'All about ability' - How the Paralympic Movement is maintaining momentum

Since September 22, 1989, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has been the global governing body of the movement responsible for organizing the summer and winter Paralympic Games and developing sport opportunities for people with disabilities from the beginner to elite level worldwide. The IPC’s mission is “to enable para-athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.”
Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s Realization

Sport for those with disabilities has existed since 1888 when the first sport clubs for the deaf were established in Berlin. It was not until after World War II, however, that it was widely introduced to assist the large number of service personnel and civilians who had been injured during wartime. In 1944, the British Government requested Dr. Ludwig Guttmann open a spinal injuries center at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain. In time, rehabilitation sport evolved to recreational sport and then to competitive sport. On July 29, 1948, the day of the London 1948 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Dr. Guttmann organized the first archery competition for 16 injured servicemen and women in wheelchairs, which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games, a milestone in Paralympic history. In 1952, Dutch ex-servicemen joined the Movement, and the International Stoke Mandeville Games were founded. These Games later morphed into the Paralympic Games which first took place in Rome, Italy in 1960 featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries. Since then, they have taken place every four years. Sweden staged the first Paralympic Winter Games, and as with the Summer Games, have taken place every four years. Since the 1988 Seoul Games and the Albertville 1992 Winter Games, the Paralympics have also taken place in the same cities and venues as the Olympics as part of the IPC-IOC agreement.

Long before the Paralympics, a number of athletes took part in the Olympics. American amputee gymnast George Eyser competed at the 1904 Olympics, winning three gold medals, two silver and a bronze. Hungarian amputee Oliver Halassy won two gold medals and a silver in water polo, in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Karoly Takacs, also of Hungary, won gold in shooting at the 1948 Olympics. Danish equestrian athlete Lis Hartel, who contracted polio in 1943, won dressage silver at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.

An eclectic group of athletes have competed in both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. New Zealander Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic competitor in the Olympic Games. After competing in the 1980 Paralympics, Fairhall won gold when archery was first introduced to the 1982 Commonwealth Games. She also competed in the 1984 Olympics. Natalia Partyka represented Poland in table tennis at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  South Africans Natalie du Toit (swimming) and Oscar Pistorius (athletics), and Italian Assunta Legnante (athletics) have also competed in both Games.
London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

Joanna Benson of Namibia wins gold in 2012The greatest Paralympic Games ever” is how IPC President Sir Philip Craven described London 2012 in his closing speech. The Games featured 20 sports and 4,237 athletes (Men: 2,736, Women: 1,501).  For the third consecutive Games, China topped the medals table, and 75 of the 164 competing countries won at least one medal. A record 2.7 million tickets were sold, making the Paralympics the world’s third biggest sporting event behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. TV pictures were broadcast to over 100 countries and territories reaching a cumulative global audience of 3.8 billion. London 2012 was the first social media Paralympics: #Paralympics was the world’s number one trending sport event on Twitter, and 25 million people visited London The IPC's Facebook following increased by 350% and there were 82.1 million views of its pages.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games showed what people from 45 different countries and cultures are capable of when they are united by a single goal and an inspired dream. The 547 (Men: 418, Women: 129) athletes competed in five sports, and Russia topped the medals table. Sochi 2014 attracted a record 316,200 spectators, and the Games were broadcast to a cumulative global TV audience of nearly 2.1 billion people in more than 55 countries and territories. Through the theme of “Reaching the Impossible,” the Closing Ceremony illuminated how dreams can be achieved through strength and passion to change the perception of “impossible” to “I’m possible.”

One of the most remarkable social phenomena during both Games was the thousands of international volunteers – dubbed The GamesMakers - from all walks of life rightly who exemplified the best of humanity.
How the Paralympics make for a more inclusive society

The IPC aspires to make for a more inclusive society for people with an impairment through sport.  Recent editions of the Paralympics have shown exactly why the Games are now widely regarded as the world’s number one sporting event for driving societal change.

In both China and Russia, new legislation was passed at the highest levels of Government ahead of the Beijing 2008 and Sochi 2014 Paralympics that focused on making for a more inclusive society for people with a disability. Ahead of the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, the Chinese Government spent RMB 1 billion – the sum of the last 20 years’ investment – on making 14,000 facilities and venues, including the Great Wall of China, accessible ahead of the Games. Additionally, the barrier free environment created for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics is now a blueprint for the rest of Russia, and more than 200 cities are using what was created for the Games as a guide for furthering their own accessibility.

Rwanda wins in sitting volleyballResearch conducted by BDRC Continental and YouGov on behalf of Channel 4, the British broadcaster of London 2012, showed their coverage of the Games created seismic shifts in attitudes towards disability. Two thirds of its viewers felt the coverage of the Paralympics had a favorable impact on their perceptions towards people with disabilities.

London 2012’s own research conducted by Nielsen found that one in three British people, equivalent to 20 million of the population, changed their attitudes towards disability as a result of the Paralympic Games.
The Agitos Foundation

The Agitos Foundation is the IPC’s development arm and is the leading international organization focused on the development of para-sport and adopted physical education on a global basis. Its mission is “to support the effective worldwide development of para-sport pathways from grassroots to Paralympic success and, in turn, fulfill the Paralympic Movement’s aspiration of an inclusive society.”  The Agitos Foundation acts as a catalyst supporting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“I just believe I am not disabled.  There are certain things I can’t do because of my impairment just like there are many things I can do with my impairment that others can’t do,” said Ugandan Charles Okwanga, who stepped on a landmine on his way to school in 1996 and took up wheelchair basketball thanks to the Agitos Foundation.  “People in my community look at me differently; they consider me special and important.  Now I can go back to school and achieve my dream of becoming a social worker, to give back to my community.”
Sir Philip Craven’s IPC Dream Team

The IPC President Sir Philip Craven, an accomplished wheelchair basketball player, is in his fourth and final term. He yearns to play hoops against the President of the United States, Barack Obama, (who is an avid basketball player himself) at one of Washington DC’s rehabilitation centers. The pre-Rio 2016 fever might be an amazing opportunity for both leaders to promote the game they love so much for the sake of those who have extraordinary ability. Perhaps even the NBA if not the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Y. Kim, would lend a helping hand to put together such exhibition game to start using this untapped fuel for humanity?

Sir Philip Craven said: “Rio 2016, Latin America’s first Paralympic Games are a tremendous opportunity to transform the lives of the millions of people who have a disability in the Americas. As we approach the Games, it would fantastic to play the US President at basketball in order to further support and develop the Paralympic Movement worldwide and within the USA.”

On this very special day, let’s always celebrate extraordinary talents of all people with all (dis)abilities to make anything possible in their quest for full societal inclusion!

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All photographs courtesy of Getty Images.

Johanna Benson: At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Johanna Benson became the first Namibian to ever win Olympic or Paralympic gold when she won the women's 200m T37.  She was rewarded by her country with a new house and had a street named after her.

Rwanda: History was made at London 2012, as Rwanda became the first African team to compete in sitting volleyball.  Their team was made up mainly of men who had lost limbs during the Rwandan genocide.

Sir Philip Craven: playing hoops that image was taken in Rio at the Paralympic Festival, which marked the One Year to Go to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.


Submitted by ZiZhen Miao on

I found it so interesting that sports for disabled individuals has existed since 1988, especially with the history of treating people who are different differently. It's also comforting to know that other counties are making a big effort to include disabled individuals, like China making the sporting event more disable accessible. This is great because it allows others, especially doubter, to see that being disabled doesn't mean they can't do anything but the fact they could possibly accomplish more then we ever could.

Submitted by Birhanu Alemu on

Everyone should strive to make the world a better place to live in.We should advocate for disable people. Disability can happen to any one of us. It can happen anywhere,anytime to anyone. We should be inclusive and support in healing the feelings of disable people.We should show to them love, compassion and support.They can do and change their lives as we support and encourage them.If we discriminate them, they become more hostile and hate their lives. They were like anyone of us some time before.Now they are physically hurt because of some reasons. What happened to them can happen to each of us!!!

Submitted by Aminata carter on

It's very good to know that sports for disabled people have existed for many years. And that they have invented olympics for people with difficulties so that they can be recognized for great talents. The fact that China has tried to make these things happen for people is a great opportunity. People from 45 different countries and cultures are capable of when they are united by a single goal and an inspired dream. Things like this should be seen more by people like our President let him be able to encourage more people to fight for there goals. Never give up no matter what.

Submitted by Ethan Hoffman on

I believe this article talks about one of the most unspoken about issues around the country. Disabled people, both physically or mentally, often face difficult challenges in life besides the ones that they already have to overcome being disabled. Especially for the physicallyrics impaired, the norm is for people to feel bad for them, & many think that their quality of life is diminished. This is only the case because societies across the globe don't give them the same opportunities fully able-bodied people do. When given the tools to succeed in life not only can the disabled life a meaningful and gregarious life, but they can have huge contributions on society through athletics, technology, innovation, & all aspects of life. Societies must look past the disabilities of these impaired in order to allow these individuals to unlock their true potential & live normal lives. We must give equal opportunities to all because the next Einstein might be in a wheelchair; after-all, where the world be if no one gave Stephan Hawking the resources to succeed juse because he can't walk under his own power?

Submitted by Jenny on

I really like reading this because it brought good knowledge to me. I learn that December 3rd is the international day for people with disabilities. A lot of people see them as underdogs in this world but they are not atleast to me. They are not any different from us. It's nice that they are playing sport just like everyone else. They work hard & should be seen any different. " I JUST BELIVE I AM NOT DISABLED " - Ugandan Charles Akwanga is really good quote and a really good way of thinking. People with disabilities should be happy and proud. They are better than us because they have more problem to face. This is all about respect and equal opportunities. This is a really hold article.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's Graf that we have a day to honor people with disabilities. Regardless if it may be mental or physical, both a recognized. The paraolympics give them the equality that they deserve. It inspires others to persevere through adversity. With this athletes are given the ability to achieve their dreams

Submitted by Johel Encarnacion on

It is important to make people aware of those with disabilities. The ones that play sports managed to get through it and succeed. That shows if someone disabled can do it, than anyone can. It also impacts people's lives and makes them strive for greatness. That just makes life precious for those who are and who are not disabled.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's great that we have a day to honor people with disabilities. Regardless if it may be physical or mental, both are recognized. The paraolympics give these athletes the equality they deserve. They have the ability to achieve their dreams. This day and event inspires others to presevere through adversity.

Submitted by Samantha Bateman on

I always knew about the Paralympics from watching the regular Olympics and knowing people who are parathletes. I love the idea that it is about inclusion and equality for something as universal as the Olympic Games. Sports can be a person's entire world and usually when an athlete becomes disabled they give up on the sport, not thinking of other options. Many people who are disabled believe they cannot achieve what those who are with able body and mind; but in reality they achieve more with their determination to keep pursuing a certain goal.

Submitted by Olivas on

Everyone, everywhere should be aware, have knowledge, and support individuals with disabilities. Whether an individual is born with a disability or obtain one in their life time, there should be respect and equal opportunity for all. It is great to see other individuals, societies, and countries around the world including and making an effort to includ those with disabilities. I hope the president of the IPC receives his wish and gets to play basketball with President Obama.

Submitted by Nicholas Jungmarker on

This article and the video were much more than inspiring, it makes you realize there is no excuse for not doing something. If these people can be athletic the way they are there is no reason I should be sitting around doing nothing. And my favorite part was that they emphasized how they are included in society. People don't realize the struggle handicapped people go through everyday. Everyone takes everything they have for granted and complain about the things they don't have. But these people, they make you realize you don't NEED anything to succeed, use what you were born with right and you will succeed. I don't feel like there's enough awareness about this issue to people who aren't handicapped, but life is a group effort and everyone has something special to contribute.

Submitted by Nav on

The things these disabled athletes do is awe inspiring. Their courage and bravery alone is worth honoring, let alone their talent, and motivation to be great even through the unfortunate circumstances. It feels almost unfair to call these people disabled, because through determination, and will power they are so capable.

“I just believe I am not disabled. There are certain things I can’t do because of my impairment just like there are many things I can do with my impairment that others can’t do,” - This "glass half full" mentality shows that there is always a bright side to things. Optimism is a great thing, and it makes these athletes heroes, as well as marvels of mankind.

Submitted by Mauro Beteta on

Obama Clear Your Schedule.
These athleates deserve all the praise they can get, overcoming so much and achieving greatness. The world is a big family and its comforting seeing how everyone comes together to give equality and include disabled individuals in practices never thought possible before. The Paralympics is doing a great job promoting this movement other organizations should take note on how to make every event or activity disable accessible. I'm reaching out to president Obama here asking him to find some time in his busy life and go interact with these great athletes that live in this nation. They are an inspiration to all and would greatly appreciate your support.

Submitted by Cornelius smith on

The article focuses on the "ability" in the word disability allowing people who didn't have a way to express themselves in sport, but now do. The power these people have coupled with the perseverance to do anything is what makes them better then stone people without disabilities. The kind of people in theses games are super human using there bodies to the max potential. They don't allow there physical or mental limits hold them back and they rise above themselves inspiring not just others with disabilities, but all people. The growing popularity of the paralimpics allows greatness to Come from anyone. The respect, social inclusion, and equal opportunity for all is what its all about.

Submitted by Jermaine Fabay on

Persons with disabilities are more admirable as they take their journey with the challenges they face. Having this event gives them the feeling of equality. They persevere and give everything they got as they compete. It is truly admirable. May they have also opportunity not only in sports but also jobs and treatment. Let us support them by not belittling them and by expecting them that they can do great.

Submitted by Crystal on

This was such a great article. I love that they have something this great For people with disabilities. I was also glady to read that this has been going on since December 1988. These people are so strong and its admiring that they push through no matter what their obstacles mzy be.

Submitted by F.Deen on

I feel that this is one of the most important topics for the world. It will help society have a more global understanding to what the worlds views as normal. Being different is apart of these individuals life everyday 365 days a year and it is not because they wanted to be that is just who they are. Having this topic bring awareness to the world can also help the world be more understand not only to people with disabilities but to other social groups , cultures and society's that are different from others. Universal understanding , compassion , epithey is what every person needs.

Submitted by Roselyne Marete on

This is a very interesting and eye-opening article. Although I have seen and know people with disabilities; oddly enough, it never really crossed my mind that just like anyone else they have athletic ambitions. For this reason the paralympic games is such a necessary institution in every society. Individuals with disabilities should not feel marginalized. This is also a great message to share with the world. Just because one is born with a certain disability does not mean that they can't achieve their goals.

Submitted by rediet on

i found this article very interesting. also,i am so great full to know lots of countries are making effort to participate in paralympic games. being disabled doesn't mean thay can't do any thing. if disabled people are given chances, they are capable of doing anything.

Submitted by Henok Gaim on

The Paralympics is a great way to improve society. I found the news that one in three British people changing their attitudes towards people with disabilites not only astonishing but a step in the right direcion. It was also news to me that we actually had events for those with disabilities since 1888. We have had a very negative attitudes towards people with disabilites historically, that it was a bit shocking to see that we've had events for a while. I hope the paralympics can continue their efforts to make society more accepting of those with a disability. If anything nobody is really different, whether or not you have a disability, you still are dealing with something that you feel is holding you back, that is something we should all understand.

Submitted by Leena on

I honestly didn't know that there was such a thing called Paralympics.
I think that it's wonderful though that they have Olympics for the disabled. It's important that we not exclude them because of their disability, because we think they can't do it but in reality they are just as good as someone who isn't disabled. I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to do what they are good at or want to do.
This is a big deal, more people should know about it and encourage it.

Submitted by Fatima Yilla on

Very well written and aspiring. Your knowledge on the subject ensures me that you are very passionate in the topic. The idea of them making an Olympic for the disabled help acknowledge that they are just as important as those who are not disabled. This is a topic often swept under the rug due to the fact that some don't find it important therefore making it refreshing to find someone who shared their view point. Keep up the good work you have a talent

Submitted by TheOneCalledB on

When I began to read this article, I was somewhat taken back by the statistics reported by the 2012 World Report on Disability. 1 billion people in the world having some disability, and with 800 million living in poverty (50-70% of which are unemployed) it only makes sense for the global community to do all they can to uplift those in need and help them realize that their lives do matter.

With the London 2012 games being heraled as "the greatest Paralympic games ever" by IPC President Philip Craven, it does seem as if the global community is starting to pay attention. 4,237 athletes competed in over 20 sports, drawing in 3.8 billion viewers and 2.7 million tickets to make it the third biggest sporting event in the world. Even the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games drew in a record audience of 316,200 and 2.1 billion in global TV views. With the next Paralympic Games right around the corner, the positive impact it has had on the global community seems as if it will only grow.

I personally had not paid much attention to the games before now, but this artice has definitely renewed my interest. It is important now more than ever to bring the world together in equality, in a time where the world seems set on distancing itself from others.

Submitted by Courtney Kasprzyk on

In our ever growing world there are more than a billion people with physical or cognitive disabilities and about 800 million of them live in poverty. Only 2% of children with disabilities even go to school, inevitably leading to a 50%-70% unemployment rate. These people are a part of us and we are obligated to care for them as we would anyone or anything. Many facilities, business', and schools are still not accessible to persons with disabilities. Can you imagine going somewhere and there be no stairs, escalators, or walkways? You would feel dismissed, unimportant, and secluded. Inclusion matters and you need to be a part of it. Feeling and being a part of something bigger than yourself is what life is all about. What are you contributing to your world? We need to give people of all abilities a place in life, a purpose. The International Day of Person's with Disabilities is just one day we celebrate the lives of these people when we should be celebrating theirs and everyone else's every single day. The Paralympics have open doors to a wonderful opportunity for humanity. We can be an all inclusive society, globally. The Paralympics is the 3rd biggest sporting event right behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and that is just phenomenal. This game has produced an opportunity for people to open their hearts and minds and see these persons with disabilities through a new light. With a 3.8 billion global audience we really have exactly what we need to show people these persons and their various abilities. I've noticed that our world, our societies, our families and friends, our schools, and our jobs focus solely on what we don't or cant do. Instead of focusing and bettering what we are good at and what we love we take that energy and we focus on what we cant or don't like. Because someone said we should. That is not living. Our world needs to forget impossible and instead remember that they, that you, that I are possible.

Submitted by Kevin Snyder on

What surprised me the most after hearing this article was that I had never heard of the Paralympics before. 2 of my siblings have autism syndrome, and I have heard of the special Olympics held locally here, which follows the same idea. But I had not heard of the Paralympics before being directed to this article. Now that I have I'm very interested in the actual logistics of the event, because there are a nigh infinite number of differences between different disabilities, such as soccer between amputees vs soccer between mental disability players. I am curious how the event accommodates for those differences.

CJ led me to this article.

Submitted by Michelle Cheng on

It is inspirational and it touches people's hearts to see and know that those with disabilities do not allow their disabilities to hinder them, they themselves do not even see it as being a disability. When I think about a disabled person, the image that comes to my head is a powerful one from the "Capitol Crawl" where there were disabled people crawling up the steps to show the government that they too need rights. The image reminds me just how far the disabled have come, in the present we see the "Paralympics" which are sports for disabled. The Paralympics shows great determination, hard work, and inspires other people who have disabilities that they achieve what people originally thought was impossible. I think this article is extremely significant because it shows that if those who have disabilities do not see themselves as being disabled then so should the rest of the world. The disabled may seem different but they have the same determination and perseverance or more than those that are not disabled. The Paralympics show human capability and adaptability that the disabled have learned how to conquer and can show the world that they are capable of anything.

Submitted by Nangoh esemoto on

I think its so interesting that sports for disabled individuals has existed since 1940's, especially with the history of sociatal discrimination towards disabled people. It's also comforting to know that other counties are making a big effort to include disabled individuals, like Asian countries making the sporting event more disable accessible. This is great because it allows others, to see that being disabled doesn't mean they can't do anything but that infact they could possibly accomplish more then we ever could.something which puzzled me more is the fact that for the rio 2016 Rwanda is taking part, as an African I am greatly woah and happy for this movement, and hope many more African countries take part in the Paralympics.

Submitted by Oscar Lopez on

I never knew that there was a olympic like competition for people with disabilities to compete in. I think its good that this sport views these disabled people to be looked at normally and with full capabilites of a fully abled body. It should be more spoken about on TV and the media to prove to people that anything is possible. It will prove to people that even these humans, with parts of the body that dont function, will give their full effort to prove they are the best. People automatically feel bad when they see people in a wheelchair or with no arms. People should be more encouraging to these folks with disability instead of feeling sorrow for their life.

Submitted by Geovanni Flores on

Finding happiness in an activity after so much pain and suffering, so much mental breakdown. The courage to not admit defeat and yearn to move forward despite the issues of mobility. Truly inspirational, perfect example to never give up.

Submitted by Hersson Gutierrez on

My boy speaking some real stuff right here. Even when you fall, you always gotta get up. Makes me want to never stop believing in myself.

Submitted by Christian Archundia on

I completely agree with everybody's comments. it made me think of the famous quote "pain is weakness leaving the body." once you get over the fear of defeat, you can accomplish anything.

Submitted by devika gupta on

Any sports is a very exciting activity that brings everyone together. I had always known about the paralympics, but never knew that it started all the way back in 1888. It never occurred to me how engaging it is. It shows how it has more Intensity because they prove to us that anything Is really is possible. I love how they feel equal with the able world. Once they divulge in sports they forget everything, every struggle and they don't show that,instead they show the wonderful talent they have and I'm thankful that they have this platform to share it with us.

Submitted by okonkwo onyekachi on

Disabilities people should be giving international recognition because of their great contribution to the society. Through sport they are great inspiration to the society and generation to come in spite of physical and mental challenges. The truth is that some of this disable people fight to defend the freedom and the respect this nation is and will enjoy all over the world.Their contributions through sport is something to reckoned with. I would like everyone to support them because it is an encouragement to them. GO U S PARALIMPICS!

Submitted by Christoher Arias on

The Paralympics gives people with certain disabilities an opportunity to do things great. I think that it encourages people with disabilities to push themselves to be tremendous athletes. Now that Obama is arranging this to happen, it'll give more awareness to the people in the general public that don't know about the Paralympics, that humans can do great things. Maybe it'll give some joy to those that have disabilities and show them that just because they're disabled, doesn't mean that they are limited. Everyone has potential to do things that they would have never imagined. GO NEW ZEALAND PARALYMPICS.

Submitted by Ahmed on

Wow, amazing article. These athletes are very inspirational. I find it really interesting that people from all sorts of the word put all their differences aside and unite to compete in sports regardless of their disability. I think these people deserve all the respect in the world. I think the presence of president Obama at Sir Philip's Paralympic team game is very important. They will represent the U.S. And they represent a significant number of the population.Go team USA

Submitted by Brenda Breve on

Reading this article helped me to understand more people with disabilities. It also helped me to learn that December 3rd is the International Day for people with disabilities. This article had lots of information that make me realized how people with disabilities are able to operate and function every day, no mater what their obstacles are. All these athletics that participate in the olympics are a great inspiration to to everyone, because no matter how big their challenges are, they go their and give their all. This is helping us to see how a human with no limbs can perform the same activities as one that has them, only in a different way. It is also great to know that all sport are able to include people with disabilities and recognize how talented all these humans are. The article also has helped me to look at people with disabilities with a different perspective, not as only seeing them a person with many obstacles, but someone that has many opportunities, and very talented. Go US Paralympics!

Submitted by Damaris Nyakundi on

My view on disability as forever been changed. It's amazing how so many able bodied people cannot achieve half of what I have seen in the videos and read here. The social inclusion and unity that is brought sports is impecable. It goes to show that nothing is impossible you put your mind to it. Mind over matter. It brought tears of joy to my eyes to see how such an event brings the world together. This artilcle has made me realize that being disabled as much as it being physical it's not mental.. and greatness can be equally achieved by both able and disabled persons. It's all in the mind. GO US PARALIMPICS.

Submitted by Yamilet on

I really enjoyed this article because it taught me a lot and I also learned that December 3rd is national day for people with disabilities. It is sad that this isn't heard of so much or made a big deal of like other national mal days. I had never heard of the Paralympics before but I'm so glad that things like this exist for disabled people because it gives them a reason to live or look forward to doing something for them and others. It's amazing how much more a disabled person can do then a well working person. A lot more dedication, creativity, and heart is put into what they do because they want to show how much they can be just as a regular person. I strongly believe this type of events should be more promoted to inspire others that nothing is impossible and get those who are going through similar problems inspired and motivated to keep living and know that there is nothing they can't do because they are disabled.

Submitted by Francis Adzowu on

I am well pleased to know that sports for the disability existed long ago. I thank the brain behind this motivation. They have really contributed so much to humanity in that everyone in any form of condition will be able to develop his or her God given potential. I am very grateful.

Submitted by Diana H on

I want to start off by saying that these athletes are very brave to go towards their dream no matter what the obstacle may be. Disability is now viewed differently thanks to the worldwide acknowledgement that everyone and anyone can do anything no matter what, nothing is impossible! "I just believe I am not disabled. There are certain things I can’t do because of my impairment just like there are many things I can do with my impairment that others can’t do,” - Ugandan Charles Okwanga. That is a very powerful statement, and I couldn't agree more. This is a powerful movement for everyone, especially for the future athletes. Children, young adults, adults and even older adults that have disabilities can look at these examples and role models for inspiration. I see how people get upset, sadden, or hurt when they find out their bodies are limited. These athletes did not let their physical impairments get the better of them, they worked their own mind and bodies to fight off those negative feelings. GO US PARALYMPIC!

Submitted by Bethel B. on

The movie Murderball and this article has really hit home for me. This past summer two of my acquaintances (Ben and Payton) were in a terrible car accident. Payton was pulled out of the burning car, but Ben unfortunately could not be saved. Even though Payton survived, he suffered multiple injuries and was in a wheelchair/had a cane for quite some time. What truly inspires me is the fact that although he was somewhat disabled, he still played basketball regularly. Playing sports gives those with disabilities a moment to feel socially integrated. They feel powerful and like they are accomplishing something even abled people cannot do. This is why it’s the number one sporting event for driving societal change. (Sibilski, 2015) When those with preconceived ideas about disabled watch the Paralympics teams, it helps eradicate those stereotypes. I absolutely love that Paralympics exists and has been around for so long. It’s something everyone should be aware of and should continue to be promoted.

Submitted by Viviana Toloza on

The Paralympics games created few years ago as a way of inclusion for people with disabilities, has been changing its basis and conception. Sport as a way of inclusion has gained acceptance and respect by the disable people. Today it is not just a way of excersing and braking with the rutine, but a way of expression. Thanks to sports "disabilities" are not anymore a form dis_ability, nowadays it prices the abilities in people. Even though, there is still a long way to go with the inclusion of disable people whitin the society due to the lack of service aviable to them while facing everyday obstacles, movements as the Paralympics games open a more hopeful door for the future for them. The Paralympic atheltics are just regular people with lack of certain body fuctions, but with a great and powerful mind setting. The kind of competition that sport offers to them take their realities to a more challeging and inclusive life in society.

Submitted by Andre chin on

I think it is amazing that we have the Paralympic Games, and how it is raising awareness that people with disabilities should not be looked down on or treated in a way that they are not apart of society. I myself have never seen the Paralympics and never knew it existed, but it is amazing to me that we as society labels these individual as disabled, but they have so much more fight, passion, and strength than the average individual. People often don't acknowledge a topic like this but, it is very inspirational, and the increase of awareness can only help us in society as a whole, as well as help individuals who are struggling to cope with their disability. It is very inspirational

Submitted by Habeeb Seriki on

It is astonishing to see how have modify and continue modifyin what we have in the nation. I'm really touched to see how special people like this can make a whole population of people happy. Paralympic sport has is not only fufiling it's purpose but also encouraging able bodies out there to see there are no limitations. Now, I encourage society to help those in poverty which are over 800 billion to bring them to work force. If special people like this have more chances, they have the ability to to be more useful not only for themselves but for their family and rest of the society. I also love the fact that the world is making effort to support paralympic. This is not just about they money for the athletes, they will feel relaxed and happy with themselves not just because of the fame, but also knowin the fact that they are not a liability to themselves, family and to their country.

Submitted by Tuyen Thai on

I'm just speechless after watching the video and reading the article because it's so inspirating. It's amazing to see the athletics achieve the success that they deserve. I can feel the joy in their eyes and the hardwork in their tears. They prove to me that anything can be impossible if you want it bad enough. I don't see any of them as disability but as an individual who give all the best that they have to accomplish their dreams and goals. They make me reflect on myself and change my thoughts on disability. I'm not suprise that the Paralympic is the thrid most popular sport event that are being watched by 2.1 billions people in more than 55 countries around the world because I also want to be a part of it.
Go US Paralimpics !

Submitted by Matilda Adu on

It's very informative and educative to read article of this kind, which helps the general public as well as the world to know through days like the international day of person with disabilities to promote awareness, knowledge and support for critical problems related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in our society to day. Statistics from the above article proves that 80% lives in developing countries, 800 million lives in poverty because they had no help in life and skills utilization due to this reasons, about 50 to 70 are unemployed and 3.5 million are refugees. It also highlighte on how Paralympic has helped in our society today. It's fun, job creation, exercising and helpful to the society as whole. We the people of the United State of America is proud to be part of Paralympic. GO US PARALIMPICS! God bless Anerica!

Submitted by Yoana Rodriguez on

To read this article and watch those videos is such an inspiration and astonishing! These people should not be named "disabled" the can do so much and it's so remarkable the talent the joy the passion and their ability to do all of these sports is. As I'm reading this blogs the numberes of disabled people who are not in school is crazy. The article said 1/3 of ALL CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL are disabled which is sad and should not be allowed. Less than 2% of children with disabilities in developing countries are in school. In general 80 % of disabled people are in developing countries which is crazy here in the U.S. Yes we see disabled people all the time but the fact that 80% are not here opens your eyes to the amount of disabled people. There are many sad and happy things as I read this article. It's sad that 800 million live in poverty and 3.5 million of them are refugees and 50-70 % unemployed ! Our system needs to take better care of our disabled society I feel as though we need to make them feel more a part of our society! But as I'm reading this article its makes me happy to hear that the Paralympics are the third biggest sporting event! At theast Paralympics 2.7 million tickets where sold they had an audience of 3.8 billion which is Incredible! The fact that orginizations like agitos is helping with the development of para sports and physical education on a global basis is amazing !

Submitted by Chrissy Beard on

This is such a touching topic. I honestly had no idea the paralympics was such a big thing. I am also afraid that until today I didn't realize the difference between the special Olympics and paralympics. These athletes are truly an inspiration. It allows people with didisabilities from all regions to come together and show their talents as athletes. So many people in developing countries have disabilities and do not get the chance to succeed but now the can participate in sports. I like how Sir Ludwig Gutmann started this is 1944 in the UK as a rehab hospital for sports that became Recreation sports then became competitive sports. So many people watch the paralympics, it's the 3rd biggest sporting event after the Olympics and world cup with 2.7 million tickets. That is a lot of spectators. I think it's great that governments, like China, are investing so much money in this cause. It really is allowing those with disabilities to reach the impossible, to do things that I'm sure they never dreamed possible when they became disabled.

Submitted by Nuwan Hewabethmage on

For some it is second chance. For others, its show how much they can accomplish. Many people believe this people are limited. However, The Paralympic show this people are not limited.These people are so strong and its admiring that they push through no matter what their obstacles are. They persevere and give everything they got as they compete for favorite part was that they emphasized how they are included in society. They have amazing people shearing them on. They know they are not forgotten.

Submitted by Kaung Thant on

Truth be told, I've never had an idea how Paralympics will be like. I'd never imagine it would be in world class venues and millions of viewers, needless to say that it is the world's biggest sporting event ever, just behind the Olympics and FIFA. People will never again see disabilities exclusively in our society. Social inclusion for disabilities will be of highly convenient of future generations. It also shows that anything is possible on out society if you are willing to do it. GO PARALYMPIANS !


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