O is for Olympics


You thought that when the closing ceremonies took place in Vancouver, BC at the end of February, the high-caliber athletes had almost all left town. But there would be, in March, a parallel “Olympics”, he Paralympics, coming to the Canadian city. This involves a number of athletes who compete at the highest levels despite their physical disabilities.

The Paralympics started in 1960 (summer) and 1976 (winter), and has its own governing board, separate from the IOC. Yet, since the Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1988, the location of these games have paralleled the locations of the Summer and Winter Olympics. At least for the next Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Olympics and the Paralympics share a common organizing committee. I called the U.S. folks in the Paralympic movement to clarify the relationship between the two groups, but the public relations person was not available.

The summer and winter games include the following sports, governed by the IPC: Alpine Skiing, Athletics, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Powerlifting, Shooting, Swimming, Wheelchair Dance Sport, plus several sports regulated by international federations, and a handful of others under the jurisdiction of International Organization of Sport for the Disabled.

The Paralympics are not to be confused with the Special Olympics, founded by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver. “For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves.”

Not incidentally, this year is the premiere of the Youth Olympic Games;you can find more here.

Of course, there are the Olympics, which ran for about 1000 years, then was canceled for over a millennium, with a few furtive attempts to restart during that time. I’m not going to talk about the modern Games, which started in 1896, except for three things:
1) if I ever get to Switzerland, I MUST go to the Olympic museum
2) a really cool feature on the olympic.org site is feature that can retrieve all the Olympic results from 1896 through 2008; Vancouver is not yet represented.
3)Juan Antonio Samaranch, former IOC head, recently died. Got to say that he really modernized the financing of the games, though there were some issues over the Salt Lake City Games. And, except for American Avery Brundidge, he was the only IOC head I could name.


Sumi, the Paralympics mascot

ABC Wednesday
ROG

0 thoughts on “O is for Olympics”

  1. As you know, I thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic two weeks the Olympics took place here in Vancouver! Great choice for today. 😀

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  2. I think the Paralympics are wonderful! I worked with a program for the disabled many years ago when we were still trying to just get ramps built and thought that was great! Anything was better than what they had at the time in that small Montana town. My kids Dad was in the 64 Olympics in Japan, so we've had an interest for a long time. Great post, Roger, as always! Hope your week is going well!Sylvia

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  3. It's great that there are the Paralympics and the Special Olympics. The sportsmen and sportswomen of these organizations veel so happy and proud to take part in these sport events. And right they are.Great post, Roger!

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  4. I love the Olympics and always feel sad the Paralympics is not shown more. I remember a few years ago when there was some weelchair athletics event taking place during the regular Olympics. That's the way it should be!Oh, Jacques Rogge (who's Belgian I think) is the current head honcho!

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  5. They tend to cover the summer paralympics here but not so much the winter ones, why the difference, who knows. Is that a ice hockey picture, sure looks interesting.

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  6. What a great, informative post! I loved the Olympics as well as the Paraolympics. So many talented athletes! Thanks for all the info!

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  7. We saw some wonderful shots of the Paralympics and I find the dedication and accomplishments of the athletes quite incredible.

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  8. I didn't know about the Paralympics. They sound like a wonderful opportunity to show a different kind of strength and determination. Thanks for highlighting such a great event.

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  9. Heard Apolo the Speed Skater speak today at a seminar, he was very inspirational!Thanks for sharing sports is always welcome!

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  10. Olympics, Paralympics, Special Olympics, Winter and Summer Olympics – all the competitors must feel so proud, so honoured to represent their nations. More opportunities can only be welcomed.

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  11. Thanks for sharing about lesser known "-lympics". As a Singaporean, I hope the upcoming Youth Olympics we are hosting would be a resounding success.

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  12. I much prefer to watch the Paralympics to the Olympics – the courage and determination of these people is inspirational.Thanks for visiting the Fairweather Blogger. The operation was a success – but the morphine has worn off!!Gary

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  13. Didn't know Para and special olympics are two different things.We had sad news, one of the Gold winner who was born with spina bifida, he came home rejoicing. A week later, his mum died in a car accident.

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