Sports

Wheelchair Rugby has been an exciting part of the Paralympics since the Sydney 2000 Games. The sport requires a great deal of skill and strength, with athletes regularly pushing themselves to the limit over the course of a match. Have a read through to understand a bit more about how the game works. Wheelchair Rugby includes one or two adaptations from the regular version of the sport. The ball used is the same as that in Volleyball, and matches take place on a Basketball court. Teams have up to 12 players, with only four playing at a time. Matches are…

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With its astounding feats of endurance, Paralympic Road Cycling has been a part of the Paralympics since New York 1984. Adaptations usually have to be made to the bikes. There are three categories: – Hand bike: used by paraplegic or amputee athletes, who have to power the bike with their arms – Tricycle: a more stable ride for athletes with cerebral palsy. – Tandem: used by vision-impaired athletes, they have two seats – the front one is for the guide-cyclist, who acts as a pair of eyes for the athlete behind him. Conventional bikes can be adapted according to the…

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Wheelchair Fencing has been a part of the Paralympic Games since Rome 1960. With more than a hint of medieval chivalry, the sport is utterly captivating and promises to provide plenty of excitement at the 2016 Games. The weapons – Sword, Rapier and Sabre – are slightly larger than in traditional Fencing, and the objective is to strike the opponent in specific spots. Athletes wear a system of sensors which detect whether or not their opponent has struck a successful blow. In the team version, the winner is the first to 45 points, or whoever has more at the end.…

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With a few differences from conventional Equestrian eventing, Paralympic Equestrianism is one of the Games’ highlights, and Team GB is one of the pre-competition favourites. It’s likely that Equestrianism stems right back to Ancient Greece, but the first official competitions started at the beginning of the 70s, in England and Scandinavia, being included in the Paralympics for the first time at Atlanta 1996. In Paralympic Equestrianism, men and women participate equally, and events can be in teams or for individuals. The only modality is the Para-Equestrian Dressage, which requires riders to present a series of pre-determined movements, including steps, trots…

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First seen in Holland in 1956, Sitting Volleyball came about thanks to a combination of sitzball (a German sport which involved people sitting down, but no net) and athletics. Today it is played in over 50 countries. The game is played out as a best of five sets. The rules are very similar to conventional Volleyball, except for the fact that athletes must remain seated at all times, especially when they are in possession of the ball. The net which divides the court is 1.15 metres high in the men’s version and 1.05m for women. The first four sets go…

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The Rio Paralympics now has the support of the most prestigious sponsor they could have ever wished for: Prince Harry made a donation to the crowdfunding campaign “#filltheseats”, which aims to raise £230,000 in order to buy 10,000 tickets to allow underprivileged children to watch the Paralympics. The British Prince, who is a regular supporter of various noble causes, is the founder of “The Invictus Games” – a series of competitions designed for soldiers who have been injured in service, which incidentally will see 11 of its members compete at the Rio Games. The value of his donation was not…

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A popular feature of the Paralympics, Boccia was introduced to the format in 1984. The sport’s origin is difficult to determine, but it likely started out as an enjoyable past time in Ancient Greece or Egypt, going on to become a fully-fledged sport in Italy. The object of the Paralympic version of the game is to throw coloured balls so that they land as close as possible to a white ball, called the jack. The rules permit players to use their hands, feet, auxiliary instruments, and in the case of athletes with problems moving their limbs, third-party help can be…

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Seven-a-side football has been a part of the Paralympics since 1984, and the first match of this year’s edition will be a clash between Brazil and GB. Brazil is in Group A, together with Ireland, Ukraine and Great Britain. The current champions are Russia, who defeated two-time champions Ukraine at London 2012. Even though Brazil will come up against some tough opposition, they still have a decent chance of a medal, considering that they won silver and bronze, in 2004 and 2000, respectively. 7-a-side Football is played exclusively by men’s teams with cerebral palsy. Athletes are classified into different groups,…

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One of the most keenly anticipated sports at the Paralympics is the Swimming. A mainstay of the Paralympics since the Rome 1960 Games, nowadays Swimmers can have physical, intellectual or visual impediments. Pretty much identical to traditional competitions, Paralympic Swimming has four strokes: butterfly, freestyle, back and breast stroke, with medleys and team relays. The exceptions are the MS3 and MS4 categories, which don’t swim butterfly. There are ten lanes in total, each one measuring 2.5 metres in width. The expectations this year are enormous, as some big names are heading out to Rio. One of them is 21-year-old Brit…

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Goalball has been one of the highlights of the Paralympic Games since 1976. The sport requires skill and an acute sense of touch. It is the brainchild of German Sepp Reindle and Austrian Hanz Lorenzen, who came up with the game in 1946, as a means of helping with the rehabilitation of war veterans. Significantly, it is not a simple adaptation of an already existing, conventional sport; it was designed exclusively for the visually impaired. The main aim is to score more goals than the opposition. There are three teams in each game, all of whom play at the same…

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