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Paralympics 2016: What does the para in Paralympics mean?

the paralympics are taking place in Rio this yearRIO is playing host to thousands of disabled athletes at this year’s Paralympic Games. But where does the name come from? The Paralympics gives disabled athletes the chance to compete on the world stage in Olympic-style sports. Since 1988, the Games have taken place in the same city as the Olympics. The word Paralympics means “parallel with the Olympics”, with the para prefix coming from the Greek word for alongside. The name was chosen to embody the spirit of the two movements existing side-by-side.
There is a common misconception that para is short for paraplegic, which dates back to the Games' origins. The first version of the Paralympics was a competition for wheelchair athletes held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on the first day of the 1948 London Olympics.

Sir Ludqig Gutmann, the neurologist who organised the event, was quoted as saying that the Stoke Mandeville Games (as they were then called) would one day be acknowledged as “the paraplegics’ equivalent of the Olympics”. ome played host to the first international competition in 1960, which became officially known as the Paralympics in 1988 with the Seoul Games.

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