Para-canoe at the Paralympic Games

Para-canoe was first introduced in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. It was one of the two sports that were added to the Paralympic program in Rio, the other was para-triathlon. The sport is exactly like able-bodied canoeing, the same rules and formats, giving those with physical impairments the opportunity to compete.

Para-canoeing was first developed in 2009, and the world championships were held a year later in Poland during 2010. There are two main types of boats, kayaks and outrigger canoes. However, only kayaks will feature in the Paralympic games.

There are events for male and females, the 200m kayak race in a range of impairment classes. There are a total of three different classification categories. KL1, athletes with no or limited trunk function and no leg function. KL2, athletes with partial trunk function and partial leg function. KL3, athletes with partial trunk function and normal leg function. Each classification has different seating arrangements, according to the severity of their impairment.

Fernando Fernandes from Sao Paulo, Brazil, previously appeared on a reality TV show. He tragically went through an accident that left him paraplegic. However, he went on to become a 4 X world champion, 2 X Pan American champion and 3 X South American champion. Truly inspiring.

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