As physios, we’re always inspired by people who push boundaries through hard work and determination. In just under a week, thousands of athletes will be displaying the athletic prowess that only dedication and hard work can achieve. Here’s a bit more info to make it easier to switch on and follow the Paralympics:
When are the Paralympics?
The Rio Paralympic Games run from the 7th to the 18th of September.
Who is competing?
More than 4,000 athletes are taking part this year from 160 nations. Australia are sending 179 competitors to the games.
Which sports are played?
There are 22 sports at this year’s Paralympics including 2 new sports: para-canoe and para-triathlon. There are only two sports at the Paralympics that don’t have an Olympic counterpart: boccia (like bocce) and goalball (an indoor-soccer-like game for visually impaired athletes using a bell-filled ball). Other sports include athletics, cycling and wheelchair basketball, rugby and tennis.
How do the classifications work?
Doctors, physios and other health professionals are involved in assessing and classifying athletes to ensure fair and equal competition. The class of competition is designated by letters and numbers. Usually, the higher the number, the higher the functional potential of athletes in that class.
What’s happening in Western Australia?
Perth has a very vibrant wheelchair sports association, running sports from wheelchair tennis and rugby to powerlifting, athletics and archery. To get involved, see wheelchairsportswa.org.au
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