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March 9, the Paralympic Games are opened in South Korean Pyeongchang. This time, the competition will bring together 48 countries from all over the world. The team from Ukraine is among them.
Let us get acquainted with the Games in more detail and assess the chances of Ukraine in the competitions.
Originally the name was associated with the term paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities). At the very beginning, the competitions were held among people with spinal injuries.
Later, from the moment when athletes with other diseases started participating in the Games, the name was rethought as "next to the Olympics." In other words, the parallelism and equality of the Paralympic competitions with the Olympic ones.
Initially, the term Paralympic Games was used informally. For example, the Games of 1960 were officially called the Ninth International Stoke-Mandeville Games.
In 1964, the name “Paralympic Games“ was officially used for the first time. Finally, the term "Paralympic" was officially fixed, starting with the 1988 Games.
Ludwig Guttman, founder of the Paralympic movement
Name "Stoke Mandeville games" came from of the rehabilitation hospital, in which Ludwig Guttman, the founder of the Games (which became the prototype of the future Paralympic Games) worked. He is called the "father of sport for people with disabilities".
In 1948, Guttman organized sports competitions among British veterans who returned from the Second World War with a spinal cord injury. These games were called Stoke Mandeville.
British Stoke Mandeville Games have been held annually. In 1952, a team of wheelchair athletes from the Netherlands came to the competitions, and the games received international status. The competition in 1952 numbered 130 participants.
In 1960, the IX Stockholm-Mandeville Games were held in Rome. They were opened not only for war veterans and were considered the first official Paralympic Games. In the capital of Italy, 400 wheelchair athletes from 23 countries competed.
The first winter Paralympic Games took place in 1976 in the Swedish Örnsköldsvik. They were attended not only by the people in the wheelchairs but also by athletes with other disability categories.
The 1976 Summer Paralympic Games, held in Toronto, Canada, attracted 1,600 participants from 40 countries.
In 1982, the Coordination Council of International Sports Organizations for Disabled People was established.
In 1989, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was established. In 1993, the Coordination Council has fully delegated its authority to it.
In 1988, the facilities of Olympic competitions were used for the Summer Paralympic Games.
In 1992, the Winter Paralympic Games took place in the same city (French Albertville) as the Olympics.
In 2001, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed a landmark agreement. According to the document, since 2008, the Paralympic Games had to be held in the same year and use the same facilities as the Olympic Games.
Paralympic games are organized by the same organizing committee as the Olympic ones and are financed from the same sources.
De facto, this order was applied, starting with the 2002 Games.
The Paralympic Games program includes six sports disciplines, which are four winter sports.
- Ski Sports (Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, para-snowboarding)
- Sledge hockey
What is a para-snowboard? A modified version of the snowboard with rules, equipment, and technical norms adapted for people with physical limitations. This kind of sport was included in the program of the Paralympic Games in 2014.
Competitions are held for people with physical limitations: lesions of the spine, cerebral palsy, amputation or visual impairment.
The judging is organized according to classes, taking into account the functional limitations of the snowboarders.
There are three main categories of para-snowboarders: standing, sessile, and visually impaired athletes.
What is Sledge Hockey? This is an analogue of hockey for people with disabilities. Participants play this game using a special sleigh.
80 sets of medals will be played at the Paralympic Games-2018. It is more than during the previous Games in Sochi.
The logo of the Games symbolizes a world open to everyone. It combines images of ice and snow, winter sports stars, and people from all over the world, uniting in Pyeongchang.
The Talisman of the Games is the Asian black bear of Bandabi. It symbolizes strong will and courage.
The bear's name is formed from two Korean words "pandal" and "pi (bi)". The first word means "crescent", the second - the celebration of the Games.
48 countries will be represented at the Games-2018.
Georgia and the DPRK will take part in the Winter Paralympic Games for the first time. In addition, Estonia would join the Games after a 12 years break.
In August 2016, the IOC suspended the Paralympic Committee of Russia from the Games in Rio de Janeiro. In December 2017, the suspension of the PCR was extended. Argumentation: the Russian side has not fulfilled all obligations to restore membership.
At the end of January 2018, it became known that the Russian Paralympic athletes were allowed to participate in the Games in the status of "Neutral Paralympic Athlete" WITHOUT mentioning Russia.
Ukraine will be represented by 33 Paralympic athletes. They will compete in three disciplines: ski racing, biathlon, and downhill skiing.
In 1996, Ukraine took part in the Paralympic Games the first time (the Summer Games in Atlanta).
In total, Ukrainian athletes have won 90 medals at the Winter Paralympics.
As the Minister of Sports, Ihor Zhdanov, said during the solemn farewell ceremony to the Ukrainian national team, the medal premiums were set in such amounts:
- gold - 125 thousand dollars;
- silver - 80 thousand dollars;
- bronze - 55 thousand dollars.