The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The Paralympics have grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel with the Olympic Games, while the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games include athletes with intellectual disabilities, and the Deaflympics include deaf athletes.

The present formal explanation for the name "Paralympic" is that it derives from the Greek preposition παρά, 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.

Given the wide variety of disabilities that Paralympic athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete. The allowable disabilities are broken down into six broad categories. The categories are amputee, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, wheelchair, visually impaired, and Les Autres (literally "The Others", which are athletes with disabilities that do not fall into the other five categories; these include dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, and congenital disorders). These categories are further broken down into classifications, which vary from sport to sport. The classification system has led to cheating controversies revolving around athletes who over-stated their disabilities, in addition to the use of performance-enhancing drugs seen in other events.

Read more about Paralympian:  Name and Symbols, Classification, Sports, Notable Champions and Achievements, Host Cities, See Also

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