It is one of the greatest spectacles of world sport and a celebration of what can be achieved. The Paralympics is the pinnacle of sports competition for disabled athletes and it is where all strive to reach. The only real qualification needed is that you have some kind of disability. This need not only be relegated to needing Mobility Aids. Learning disabilities, and sensory deprivation are also included. The games are all about inclusion and a showcase of there being no limits to life regardless of circumstances and a less than able body.
Previously there was no bar to a disabled person entering the Olympics. In fact, there was a case of George Eyser in 1904 who had an artificial leg. Lis Hartel from Denmark competing in equestrian events had polio but still won a silver in dressage.
The real origins of the Paralympics stems from a the work of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann. He was an escapee of from Nazi German as he was Jew. He was working at Stoke Mandeville hospital dealing with patients who had suffered from spinal injuries. He was keen to start an international competition that would be on par with the regular Olympics. The first proper Paralympic events were held at the hospital and this continued for several events to come. It has been said that Stoke Mandeville is the same as ancient Greece is to the modern Olympics.