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Parallel Sports

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Paralympics: UK Medals

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Parallel Sports

This is a relatively new page, and when I created it I chose the title very carefully. I could have called it The Paralympics, but there are just a few questions that refer to other events.

First of all:

In the term 'Paralympics', 'Para' is short for Click to show or hide the answer

Wikipedia tells us that 'Although the name [Paralympics] was originally coined as a portmanteau combining "paraplegic" (due to its origins as games for people with spinal injuries) and "Olympic," the inclusion of other disability groups meant that this was no longer considered very accurate. The present formal explanation for the name is that it derives from the Greek preposition παρα, pará ("beside" or "alongside") and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games. The Summer Games of 1988 held in Seoul was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.'

The previous equivalent event, held in 1984 at Stoke Mandeville and New York, was officially entitled The International Games for the Disabled. Wikipedia refers to these as "canonically the 1984 Summer Paralympics", and this ("1984 Summer Paralympics") is the title it uses for the relevant page. In other words, all previous equivalent events are now known as the Paralympics.

I came up with 'Parallel Sports' as the title for my page because I felt that the non–Paralympic events referred to on this page were parallel to other sports in the same way that the Paralympics are parallel to the Olympics.

Paralympics: UK medals

Great Britain has a very proud record in the Paralympics. We've never topped the medals table, but we've finished second on eight occasions, third four times, fourth once, and fifth twice.

Year 1st2nd 3rd4th 5thG SB Tot
2016ChinaGreat Britain UkraineUSA Australia6439 44147
2012China RussiaGreat BritainUkraine Australia3443 43120
2008China Great BritainUSA UkraineAustralia42 2931 102
2004China Great BritainCanada USAAustralia35 3029 94
2000Australia Great BritainCanada SpainUSA41 4347 131
1996USA AustraliaGermany Great BritainSpain 394241 122
1992USA GermanyGreat Britain FranceSpain40 4741 128
1988USA West GermanyGreat Britain CanadaFrance64 6653 183
1984USA Great BritainCanada SwedenWest Germany107 112112 331
1980 USA Poland West Germany Canada Great Britain 47 32 21100
1976USA NetherlandsIsrael West GermanyGreat Britain 292936 94
1972West Germany USAGreat Britain South AfricaNetherlands 161521 52
1968USA Great BritainIsrael AustraliaFrance29 2020 69
1964USA Great BritainItaly AustraliaRhodesia18 2320 61
1960Italy Great BritainWest Germany AustriaUSA20 1520 55

The USA finished sixth in 2012, leaving Great Britain as the only country that has finished in the top five in every Paralympics.

Invictus Games

In principle, the Invictus Games are an annual event. They were not held in 2015, however, to allow time for the 2016 host city to plan and raise funds.

Host cities:

2014 Click to show or hide the answer 2016 Click to show or hide the answer 2017 Click to show or hide the answer 2018 Click to show or hide the answer

The 2014 games were held at the Queen Elizabeth Olym[pic Park. The 2016 games were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World.


The first English athlete to compete at the Paralympics and Commonwealth Games (Archery, 2010 – won a gold medal in the team event). Suffers from chronic pain in the feet Click to show or hide the answer
Won gold medals for Great Britain in both Athletics and Cycling, at the 2016 Paralympics; also won a silver and a bronze in Athletics Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Visually impaired British skier: with her guide Jennifer Kehoe, won four medals (gold in the slalom, two silver and one bronze) at the 2018 Winter Paralympics Click to show or hide the answer
Winner of Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal (Sochi, 2014: Women's super giant slalom, or Super–G, visually impaired); also the first Winter Paralympics competitor from Northern Ireland Click to show or hide the answer
International Paralympic–style multi–sport event for wounded armed services personnel – including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing; inspired by the Warrior Games, a similar event held in the United States, and named after a Latin epithet signifying the invincibility of the gods; first held in 2014 at the London Olympic Park; Prince Harry was President of the organising committee Click to show or hide the answer
Great Britain's youngest competitor at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, aged 13: won two swimming gold medals (100m and 400m freestyle); also won two golds at London 2012 (400m freestyle and 200m individual medley). Suffers from achondroplasia (a common form of dwarfism) Click to show or hide the answer
Intellectual disability basketball team stripped of the gold medal in the Sydney Paralympics, after it was discovered that ten of the twelve team members were not disabled Click to show or hide the answer
Hospital that includes the National Spinal Injuries Centre; pioneering rehabilitation work carried out there by Sir Ludwig Guttmann led to the development of the Paralympic Games.  The National Centre for Disability Sport – an extensive sports complex – is adjacent Click to show or hide the answer
Won the C5 3,000m individual pursuit in Rio 2016, breaking Tanni Grey–Thompson's record to become Britain's most decorated paralympian (12 golds, 8 silver, 3 bronze – total 23) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Paralympic sport: invented 1976 in Canada; known in the USA as quad rugby; originally known as murderball; subject of a 2005 Oscar–nominated film of that title Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18