Cycling at the Paralympic Games

Cycling has quite a history at the Paralympics. It was first introduced in the 1984 Paralympic games, in New York. It included only road events for athletes with cerebral palsy. At the next Paralympic games, Seoul 1988, athletes with visual impairments only, competed. At Barcelona 1992, more impairment classes were included. Then, at Atlanta 1996, track events were finally added to the program.

Cycling is both a track and road event sport, for men and women. Athletes with physical and visual impairments can now compete, thanks to the sport adapting and growing over its initial 12 years.

Paralympic athletes compete under the same rules and regulations that are implemented in the Olympic Games.

US paralympic cyclists on a tandem bike US paralympic cyclists on a tandem bike

According to an athlete’s impairment, they race on either a bicycle, tricycle, tandem or hand cycle. They can compete in sprints, time trials, or road races in individual or team events. When athletes from different classifications compete against each other, the severity of their impairment is considered. Hence, it is not always the fastest athlete who will win, but the athlete who scores the best after all external factors have been take into account.

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Paralympics Extra

The 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing are not far away, the next Summer Paralympics will be in Paris 2024. Also, check out the list of Paralympic sports, and top medal winners.

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