Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paralympic Games, Athletics

Part of the first ever Paralymic Games at Rome 1960, Athletics has produced some of the most iconic images in the history of the Paralympic Movement - with legendary figures such as Chantal Peticlerc, Tanni (now Baroness) Grey-Thompson and Oscar Pistorius making their names before a world wide audience. 
The Athletics competition is made up of track, throwing and jumping events. Some athletes compete in wheelchairs or throwing frames, others with prosthetic limbs, and others with the guidance of a sighted companion. 




As well as having the greatest number of events and athletes at the Paralympic Games, Athletics also has the greatest number of classes. To ensure competition is fair, athletes are grouped into classes according to how much their impairment impacts on their event. 




T -        Athletes who compete on the track.
F -        Athletes who compete in the field.
11-13 - Athletes with a visual impairment.
20 -      Athletes with an intellectual impairment. 
31-38 - Athletes with cerebral palsy (classes 31-34 use a wheelchair to compete). 
40-46 - Athletes with a loss of limb or limb impairment.
51-58 - Wheelchair racers or field athletes who throw from a seated position.





There are certain groups above that are given a two digit number. The first indicates the nature of the athlete's impairment, while the second indicates the impact of the impairment on the athlete's event-specific performance (the lower the number, the greater the impact). 
Going to two Paralympic events, Judo and Athletics, it is inspiring to see the achievements of the athletes competing in these Games. In many ways the Paralympic Games are as exciting as the Olympic Games. 

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