2016 Paralympics & Participation from India

Paralympics, many of us might not have heard this. What is Paralympics and what’s the history:

In 1976 Örnsköldsvik, Sweden staged the first Paralympic Winter Games. The Games are now the second biggest sporting event in the world.

Sport for athletes with an impairment has existed for more than 100 years, and the first sport clubs for the deaf were already in existence in 1888 in Berlin.

It was not until after World War II however, that it was widely introduced. The purpose of it at that time was to assist the large number of war veterans and civilians who had been injured during wartime.

In 1944, at the request of the British Government, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann opened a spinal injuries centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain, and in time, rehabilitation sport evolved to recreational sport and then to competitive sport.

On 29 July 1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, Dr. Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games, a milestone in Paralympics history. They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery. In 1952, Dutch ex-servicemen joined the Movement and the International Stoke Mandeville Games were founded.

These Games later became 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.

Participation from India – 2016 Paralympics

First time in the history India has sent 19 athletes to 2016 Paralympics. The 2016 Paralympics were hosted at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 to 18 September. Out of these 19 athletes, 16 are men and 3 are women. The sports that Indian athletes participated in 2016 Paralympics are Archery, Athletics, Powerlifting, Swimming and Shooting.

Medals for Indian athletes in 2016 Paralympics

India bagged 4 medals in 2016 Paralympics. 2 of them are gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.

Mariyappan Thangavelu bagged gold in athletics for men’s High Jump T42. Thangavelu is just 21 years and India can hope many medals from him in the future. Devendra Jhajharia bagged another gold in athletics for men’s Javelin Throw F46. He has set a world-record throw of 63.97 metres event, bettering his own 2004 record. Jhajharia is the only Indian athlete to bag 2 gold medals in Paralympics. Deepa Malik bagged silver in athletics for women’s Shot Put- F53. She is the first women from India to bag a medal at Paralympics. Varun Singh Bhati bagged bronze in athletics for men’s High Jump T42.

In 2016 Paralympics, India is ranked at 43 with the participation of 19 athletes contested in 5 sports. Though this is the best performance ever before, India has a large potential of increasing the participation and possibility of winning the medals.

Maxability congratulates every athlete who participated in 2016 Paralympics and special congratulations to those who won the medals. Maxability also hopes to see more participation in Paralympics from India and bagging the medals going forward.