The history of the Paralympic Games is said to be traced back to the archery competition that took place at a hospital in the suburbs of London in 1948 to fit in with the 14th London Olympics, at the initiative of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, a Jewish neurologist, who fled to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
It was organised as a part of a therapy for the rehabilitation of disable war veterans, all of whom had spinal cord injuries, to help them develop self-respect as well as physical strength. After that, it continued to be held, and grew to an international one in 1952 when the Netherlands joined in the event.
Then, the internationally reorganized wheelchair sports event, which was no longer open solely to war veterans, was held alongside the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. It is now recognized as the first Paralympic Games.
At that time, there were eight athletic events: basketball, athletics, archery, fencing, aquatics, table tennis, snooker, and dartchery (a combination of darts and archery). In the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, the number of events increases to twenty-two.
In this way, the Paralympic Games, which was initially organised as wheelchair sports events for rehabilitation, has now developed into a sporting event for professional athletes.
The 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo will soon be starting on August 24.
One of the Paralympic sport event, boccia (a kind of precision ball sport), was scheduled to be held in this month at the Kawasaki International Center. However, it is a great pity that it was cancelled due to the declaration of a state of emergency of COVID-19. We hope you may enjoy twenty-two sports events of the Paralympics to the full at home on TV, on the radio, or through the Internet.