100 things to know about the Paralympic Games (76-100)



76. The roots of boccia can be traced back to ancient Greece, where players threw large stones at a stone target. There were also artefacts and wall engravings relating to a similar form of boccia which were found as early as 5200 BC during the excavation of tombs in Egypt. The sport was also played in markets and on the streets in the Middle Ages, and the word “boccia” is derived from the Italian meaning of bowling.

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77. According to the Olympic rules of table tennis, the ball must be placed in the open palm of the hand, thrown at least 16 cm in the air perpendicular to the table, and hit. At the Paralympic Games, when this is not possible, the ball can be thrown by placing it on the elbow or on the racquet.

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78. Goalball was invented in 1946 to help rehabilitate veterans who lost their sight during World War II. Hans Lorenzen of Austria and Sepp Reindle of Germany are credited with inventing the game.

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79. Wheelchair rugby uses a size 5 volleyball with a modified surface to facilitate grip.

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80. Para-cycling track made its Paralympic debut in Atlanta 1996 and road cycling in New York / Stoke Mandeville 1984.

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81. In cycling, athletes with physical disabilities compete on either handbikes, tricycles or bicycles. Athletes with a visual impairment compete in tandem with a sighted “pilot”.

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82. Reigning wheelchair rugby world champions Japan won their first Paralympic medal with bronze at Rio 2016.

83. 2004 Olympian, Austrian Pepo Puch was involved in an accident in 2008. But he found his way back to the horse and won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.

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84. Paracanoe was first featured with show status as “paddling” at the 2009 Sprint Canoe World Championships in Dartmouth, Canada, and was granted official paracanoe status at the edition of the following year in Poznan, Poland.


85. Some athletes participating in para dressage use compensatory aids such as a soft grip attached to the front of the saddle if they cannot grip the reins.

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86. Wheelchair tennis was invented in 1976 by Brad Parks, who experimented with tennis as a recreational therapy after injuring himself while skiing.


87. In powerlifting, each referee controls a white light and a red light, these two colors representing respectively “good lift” and “no lift”. An athlete must receive at least two good lifts for their attempt to count towards the result.

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88. After a ball has been thrown into goalball, defenders have 10 seconds to return the ball after one of them touches it.

89. Brazil have been undefeated in 5-a-side football at the Paralympic Games since making their debut in Athens in 2004.

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90. Several para-athletes are also healthcare workers and have been on the front lines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Dutch rowing champion and doctor Annika van der Meer, British table tennis Paralympian and junior doctor Kim Daybell and Venezuelan para-swimmer and doctor Genesis Leal are among those who have trained and worked overtime to save lives. .

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91. In track and field, the front wheel of each rider’s wheelchair must be in contact with the ground in front of the start line at the start of the race.

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92. To help visually impaired people recognize the various Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medals by touch, a series of circular indentations have been included on the side of the medals for the first time in Paralympic history. One indentation represents gold, two distinguish silver and three identify bronze. Braille letters also spell “Tokyo 2020” on the face of the medals.

93. A record number of female athletes will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. At least 40.5% of all athletes will be women, according to IPC qualifying criteria. This equates to 1,782 athletes, an increase from the 1,671 women who participated in Rio 2016 (38.6 percent).

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94. Rowing made its Paralympic debut in Beijing 2008, with the Italian coxed four-man crew causing the first major upheaval. They had not reached the podium at the World Championships in the years leading up to the Games. However, the crew of Paola Protopapa, Luca Agoletto, Daniele Signore, Graziana Saccocci and coxswain Alssandro Franzetti beat world champions Germany and runner-up from Great Britain to claim gold on Chinese soil. .

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95. In wheelchair races, athletes are considered to have completed the race when the center of the runner’s front wheel reaches the finish line.

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96. Celebrities Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Liza Minnelli and Hall & Oates all performed at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

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97. Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z performed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony.

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98. Algeria made history at the 2016 Paralympic Games as the first African women’s wheelchair basketball team to compete in the Games.


99. In total, 83 countries won at least one medal at Rio 2016, the highest ever at the Paralympic Games.

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100. China has been the country with the most gold medals at every Paralympic Games since Athens 2004. It has won 63 in the Greek capital, followed by 89 in Beijing 2008, 95 in London 2012 and 107 in Rio 2016.

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