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Para-Sports at the Commonwealth Games

There is a long history of sports for disabled athletes at the Commonwealth Games. There was a Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, which were held alongside the Commonwealth Games from 1962 to 1974. Then at the 1994 Victoria Games in Canada, athletes with a disability were included in exhibition events, in events such as wheelchair racing (men's 800m wheelchair and Marathon wheelchair), para-swimming (Men's and Women's 100 m freestyle S9) and blind lawn bowling (men's and women's singles).

Unlike the Paralympics, in which a separate para-sport program is held following the Olympic Games, at the Commonwealth Games the parasports events are included alongside the other sports on the program, and that is the way it appears it will stay.

Paralympic events were officially included on the program for the first time at Manchester 2002, when athletes from 20 countries competed in 10 events in athletics, lawn bowls, swimming, table tennis and weight lifting, earning medals for their country. In Melbourne four years later, 189 athletes from 25 nations competed in 12 events in four sports.

Prior to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the Commonwealth Games Federation established a list of four core para-sports: athletics, lawn bowls, powerlifting and swimming. Events from up to three optional para-sports can also be chosen by the host city; track cycling, table tennis and wheelchair basketball. In 2010 in Delhi 15 para-sports events were held.

wheelchair racingwheelchair racing

In 2014, there was a total of 22 medal events for Para-athletes across five sports - athletics, swimming, powerlifting, lawn bowls and track cycling.

In 2018, the number of para-sport competitors increased even more. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games hosted up to 300 para-athletes over 38 medal events across seven sports: Athletics, Swimming, Lawn Bowls, Powerlifting, Track Cycling, Table Tennis and Triathlon. There was also the first-ever wheelchair marathon event.

2022 saw the largest para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history, including 3x3 wheelchair basketball.

The sports for para-athletes in 2022:

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