History of the Games



The listing was posted by Scottish Disability Sport 2

2010 is a Winter Paralympic Games year, 12-21 March in Vancouver and Whistler in Canada. As part of the build up towards this event, the Equality Standard newsletter plans to run a series of articles to inform readers about various aspects of the Winter Paralympics. The first article is a brief history.
 
Vancouver 2010 will be the Xth Paralympic Winter Games and the first time Canada has hosted the event. Approximately 600 athletes from 45 countries are expected to compete during the Games in 4 sports: wheelchair curling, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing (biathlon and cross country skiing) and ice-sledge hockey.
 
In 2006, Paralympics GB took a 20-strong team of athletes to Turin, Italy for the IXth Paralympic Winter Games. 477 athletes from 39 countries competed in Turin, creating intense competition and a fantastic atmosphere.
 
Winter sports for athletes with a disability gradually developed after World War II as large numbers of injured soldiers and civilians looked to return to the ski slopes after the end of the conflict.
 
The introduction of three-track skiing (skiing on one leg on one ski and using two crutches that incorporate small skis) led to the first course in three-track skiing in February 1948 with 17 participants from all over Austria. The event proved so popular that the first Austrian Championships for three-track skiing were held the following year.
 
In 1974 the first world multi-disability skiing championships were held in Grand Bornand, France, featuring Alpine (downhill only) and Nordic (cross-country only) skiing for amputee and visually impaired athletes.
 
The first Paralympic Winter Games was held in Sweden in 1976. They featured Alpine and Nordic skiing for visually impaired and amputee athletes and also had a demonstration event in Sledge Racing. Sit-skiing for both Alpine and Nordic events was introduced at the 1988 Winter Games. In 1992 demonstration events were held in Alpine and Nordic skiing for athletes with intellectual disabilities. In 1994 Ice Sledge Hockey featured on the programme for the first time and in 2006 Wheelchair Curling made its Paralympic Winter Games debut.
 
Great Britain has won a total of 10 medals to date in the Winter Paralympics. Before Turin, all of GB’s Paralympic Winter Games medals had been won in Alpine Skiing, one silver medal and four bronze medals in 1992 and a further four bronze medals in 1994. In 2006 the Wheelchair Curling team won silver.
 
 
 
Year
Host Nation
Top Medal winners
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Total
1976
Sweden
GermanFederalRepublic
9
12
6
27
1980
Norway
Finland
31
7
9
29
1984
Austria
Austria
41
21
20
82
1988
Austria
Norway
25
21
14
60
1992
France
USA
21
15
9
45
1994
Norway
Norway
29
22
13
64
1998
Japan
Norway
18
9
13
40
2002
USA
Germany
17
1
15
33
2006
Italy
Russian Federation
13
13
7
33