What are the categories of the 2021 Paralympic Games?

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Paralympic Games

The 2020 Paralympic Games are underway. Athletes from all over the world with a range of disabilities will try to be the best and win a gold medal. However, in order for the competition to be as fair as possible, they are divided into different categories. Here, check them out.

There are ten main categories at the Paralympic Games (Getty).

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There are ten main categories at the Paralympic Games (Getty).

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are underway and fans are thrilled. As you may know, these Games are aimed at athletes with various disabilities. However, that doesn’t mean the competition is less impressed than, say, the Olympic Games.

In fact, it could be the opposite as these athletes master their respective sports despite different conditions such as chronic injuries or diseases. To participate in the Paralympic Games, athletes must meet certain qualifying criteria and standards to be eligible, all determined by the International Paralympic Committee ”s Sports Presidents, Sports Technical Delegates and other organizations.

While we know that the Paralympic Games are a showcase of elite performance sport, many people do not know what the eligibility criteria are to participate in the Paralympic Games or what categories the athletes are divided. Here you can view them.

2021 Paralympic Games Categories

At the Paralympic Games, athletes are divided into ten main categories of disability. As there are many disorders and disabilities, classification of athletes is important to ensure that the competition is fair. Not all sports are suitable for all conditions.

As the CPI explains, the classification “Determines who can compete in sport and groups these athletes together based on the impact of their disability on key sport activities. “ Here are the main categories:

Impaired muscle power: Athletes with a medical condition that reduces or eliminates their ability to voluntarily contract their muscles in order to move or generate strength. Ex .: spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida.

Impaired passive range of motion: Athletes who have a restriction or lack of passive movement in one or more joints. Example: arthrogryposis.

Deficit of a limb: Athletes who have a total or partial absence of bones or joints as a result of trauma (amputation), disease or congenital impairment of a limb.

Difference in leg length: Athletes who have a difference in the length of their legs as a result of a disruption in limb growth or as a result of trauma.

Small size: Athletes who have reduced length in the bones of the upper limbs, lower limbs and / or trunk.

Track and field competitions are a staple of the Paralympic Games (Getty).

Hypertonia: Athletes who have increased muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch due to damage to the central nervous system.

Ataxia: Athletes with uncoordinated movements caused by damage to the central nervous system.

Athetosis: Athletes who have slow, continuous involuntary movements.

Visual impairment: Athletes who have reduced vision or not at all.

Intellectual disability : Athletes who have a restriction in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that affects conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills.


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