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World Abilitysport Games

The World Abilitysport Games is a multi-sport competition for athletes with disabilities, held every two years. The event is designed to give aspiring Paralympians and emerging athletes their first taste of international competition,.

The event was originally called the International Stoke Mandeville Games, a forerunner of the Paralympics. In 1960s to 1970s, the Games were simply known as the Wheelchair Olympics. From 2009 to 2022 it was known as the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games or the IWAS World Games.

Wheelchair athleteWheelchair athlete on the track

The first IWAS World Games were held in 1948, organized by a neurologist who wanted to have a sporting competition involving the veterans of the World War II with injuries to their spinal cord. They were patients at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. It took place alongside the first post-war Summer Olympics in London.

The games were held yearly in Stoke Mandeville under the organization of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federations (ISMGF), later became the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation (ISMWSF). The Stoke Mandeville Games continued to be a multi-sport event for wheelchair athletes while the Paralympics progressed to include athletes from all disability groups.

The sports on the program depend on the host organizers, and are selected from: archery athletics, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, table tennis and volleyball - which all feature on the Paralympic program.

In the 2003 Games, the competition included amputee athletes, organized by the International Sports Organization for the Disabled. In 2004, the organizations ISMWSF and ISOD combined to create the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS).

Sochi hosted the 2015 International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation World Games, and the 2019 edition was staged in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in February.

Due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled.

The event for 2022 was originally scheduled to be hosted by Sochi, Russia, but the Games were taken from them in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and held in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal (where the 2021 event was planned).

Previous IWAS World Games

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