Every 4 years, there is a global event taking place, call it a worldwide phenomenon. While competitive in nature, paralympic sports it is undoubtedly dedicated to honour, celebrate, strengthen and unite humanity while fighting and striving to promote the view that disabled individuals too can accomplish great feats in life and climb to the pinnacle of their potential and should be considered and looked upon as equals.
Although, It is a much lesser-known one; A happening that falls in shadow compared to the events of the main spectacle of the Olympics. Yes, we are talking about The Paralympics and the much underappreciated and overlooked efforts of sportsmanship, sheer willpower and strength that this contest of countries presents.
Individuals competing in all sorts of categories and paralympic sports like basketball, hockey or fencing, swimmers, athletes with no intent on using anything else than the full 100% of their maximum potential to win the hearts of their fellow countrymen.
With everything said, let us share some intriguing insights on the Paralympics and the paralympic sports with hope that the next time you catch the games on the TV you won’t steer away.
The History of the Paralympic Movement
When it comes to the very beginnings of the paralympic sports It all started with Dr Ludwig Guttman, a Jewish doctor, refugee from Nazi Germany.
With the opening of his spinal injuries centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the unconventional and progressive methods of treating his patients, Dr Guttman unknowingly and unintentionally helped in promoting what was only considered a rehabilitation sport to recreational and then competitive sport. With that, he created an international event, calling it olympic games for the disabled which later on evolved to the Paralympics we know today.
It all started with the archery competition organized by non-other than Dr Guttman during the opening ceremony of the 1948 London olympic games, held on 29th of July, in which 16 wheelchair athletes, 14 men and 2 women took part.
Of course, that event became a hallmark in the history of the Paralympics and paved the way for more similar events in future taking occurrence every 4 years, with the first Paralympic Games taking place overseas, in Rome, Italy, in 1960, setting the course for mainstream publicty. Four hundred athletes, representing 23 different countries.
Why the Olympics and Paralympics are Still Separate Events
With both events standing for equality and equity and holding the same profound values and principles in it’s very core, it’s only fair to have them unified so they both can share the same status in media, sponsorships and exposure and thus giving the same opportunities, value and praise to the achievements of Paralympic athletes as those of Olympic athletes too.
For example, the same quality of achievement is not given to a paralympic gold medalist and an olympic gold medalist. Furthermore, how is there still no possibility of betting on your favourite Paralympic athlete, team or country whilst it is available for the Olympic games? Is it a question of morals? It is legal, by the way. Showing support for individuals who have gone beyond their physical impairments and disabilities to give their best to perform, win medals and achieve overall greatness is far more noble of a cause and just the right reason why to bet. So, if there is the moral ambiguity of whether it’s right and wrong to bet on paralympic sports and athletes, rest assured that it’s all good.
So, while there are numerous online casino sites on sports betting with the Olympic games right up there in the categories, offering casino bonus including the chance to win real money, there is little to no possibility of betting on certain paralympic sports or athletes. Just when these big events like the Olympic games kick in, many of these legal casino websites offer what is called casino bonus even on free bets so you can earn real money with practically spending nothing. And for the Paralympics counterpart, none of this. You’d think that betting at an online casino and earning some sweet casino bonus is available for paralympic sports, athletes and events too, but, no not really. There is not enough media coverage or streaming services available on the topic of paralympic sports and games so it figures why there is a huge lack of interest in paralympic sports betting and pretty low amount of online casino websites that list the Paralympics in their betting categories.
Can Paralympic Athletes Compete in the Olympics
As said before, there is an existing imbalance in value when comparing the achievements of Paralympic athletes and Olympic athletes. So, if you were asking if there is a chance that a paralympic athlete can outperform an Olympic athlete, the short answer is yes. If you were also asking if certain individuals have competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics, well it’s a yes again! How is that actually possible, regarding question one and the following i.e. number two?
Well, just like this.
A paralympic sports athlete is a pro. If he/she is at the paralympics that is proof enough that he or she competes at the highest level in his category or sport of choice. Just a fun fact: the world records at long distance of Paralympic athletes are faster than their peers over at the Olympics.
Many athletes including Oscar Pistorius, have competed at both the Olympics and Paralympics.
Famous Athletes with Physical Disabilities
Being an athlete is no small or easy thing by any means. But, in all honesty, these are the real heroes, the ones who accomplished great things even with the odds stacked against them whether it is a birth defect or any life-changing injury.
Oscar Pistorius – A double amputee from South Africa due to a birth defect, competing in sprint running. Nicknamed as the Blade Runner and also being the fastest man with no lower extremities, this guy competes in championships using prosthetic legs.
Erin Popovich – With a long record of winning gold medals at the Paralympics, Erin Popovich is a swimmer, born with achondroplasia. With no intention on giving up on her childhood interests on sports, she rose to a 19-times gold medalist with more than 5 world records.
Jessica Tatiana Long – Also a professional swimmer, Jessica had both of her legs amputated, sharing pretty much the same disorder with athlete Oscar Pistorius. Adopted from an orphanage in Russia, she is now a proud world holder in several categories at the Paralympics.