Paralympics 2016: Five things you need to know ahead of the opening ceremony

Some of the basics you need to know ahead of the the Paralympics

Matt Gatward
Tuesday 06 September 2016 17:30
comments
The Paralympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony
The Paralympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony

Walter White Junior

RJ Mitte, who played Walter White Junior in the hit US TV series Breaking Bad, is part of host broadcaster Channel 4’s presenting team for the Paralympics. Mitte has cerebral palsy and is a passionate campaigner for disability charities.

How it began

The Games started in 1948 as the Stoke Mandeville Games – and became the Paralympics (to run parallel to the Olympics) in 1960. Originally the Paralympics were only for wheelchair users but in 1976 expanded to include the visually impaired and amputees.

Loads of balls

Paralympic medals have small balls in them so blind athletes can hear them rattle and also have indentations on them.

Unique sports

There are two sports that are unique to the Parlaympics: Goalball for blind and visually impaired athletes and Boccia (similar to bowls) for athletes with severe impairments.

Medal heavy

The most decorated Paralympian is the American swimmer Trisch Zorn who has won an incredible 55 medals, 41 of them gold.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments