Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Paralympic Potential

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Paralympic Potential

Article excerpt

NRPA is a proud partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The two organizations have been working together for years in an effort to expand adaptive sport opportunities for youth, adults and veterans, and together, they have impacted thousands of lives by expanding sport opportunities for people with physical disabilities. Now, they're shifting focus as part of a new initiative to identify prospective Paralympic athletes for future Games.

The Paralympic movement grew out of rehabilitation sport post-World War II. The first organized Paralympic Games took place in 1960 and featured 400 athletes with physical or visual disabilities from 23 countries. The most recent competition, the 2012 London Paralympic Games, featured more than 4,200 athletes from 165 countries. The U.S. team finished fourth overall in the medal standings with a total of 98.

U.S. Paralympics' goal moving forward is to go from fourth to first. But U.S. Paralympics can't achieve that without increasing the number of athletes competing in Paralympic sports. By growing that number at all levels --developmental, intermediate and elite--the organization can ensure sustained performance into the future. …

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