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Paralympic Games Classification Categories

Athletes competing in Paralympic sports fall broadly into three categories: physical impairments, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. The physical impairments are further categorized into eight groups: Impaired muscle power, Impaired passive range of movement, Limb deficiency, Leg length difference, Short stature, Muscle tension, Uncoordinated movement, Involuntary movements.

Within each of the disability categories, athletes are classified or graded based on the severity of the disability, with individuals competing against those with a similar degree of impairment. Some sports are open to athletes in all categories, while others are reserved for specific impairments. The classification systems differ by sport. The same disability categories are used for the Summer and Winter Paralympics.

blind runners at the 2012 London Paralympics blind runners at the 2012 London Paralympics


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Paralympics Extra

The next Summer Paralympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the 2026 Winter Paralympics. Also, check out the list of Paralympic sports, and top medal winners.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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