Specific competitions for athletes grouped into classes defined by the degree of function. There are six main classes: amputee, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries, intellectual disability, and a group of all others. The classes are defined by each sport and often have subclasses to make competition equitable. Participation in disabled sport has grown significantly over the past years. A major step was taken by Dr Guttman who, in 1948 on the same day as the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, organized a sports competition at Stoke Mandeville hospital for World War II servicemen with spinal cord injuries. The Paralympic movement was subsequently established. A considerable science has developed investigating the particular challenges faced by the disabled athlete and how training may be adapted and performance enhanced. See also Paralympics.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.