Origin of Handisport Athletics

One of the most popular Paralympic sports, athletics was one of the first sports to be included in the programme of the Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960. This discipline includes the largest number of athletes and events: track races except for hurdles, jumps except for the pole vault, throws except for the hammer, and finally off-stadia races from 10km to the marathon, including trail and cross-country running.
Stade dans lequel se déroule un championnat d'athlétisme handisport
The first disabled athletics competitions took place in 1952 with the inclusion of wheelchair racing for World War II veterans in the Stoke Mandeville Games. It was in this city that the international Paralympic movement was born, under the impetus of Dr Ludwig Guttmann. A few years later, in 1960, athletics was one of the eight disciplines included in the first Paralympic Games in Rome.

Over the next 20 years, other disability categories were gradually included in Paralympic competitions, to the extent that track and field is now practiced in over 120 countries, making it the most popular Paralympic sport! The sport always attracts large numbers of spectators at international events, likely because of the captivating series of events happening in all four corners of the stadium, with  running, jumping and throwing!

Athletics for the disabled always attracts a large number of spectators at international events, not least because of the simultaneous sporting spectacle in all four corners of the stadium, with the running, jumping and throwing!

Athletes compete according to their functional classifications in each event. Some compete in wheelchairs, others with prosthetics, while those with visual impairments can run with a guide.

Karen Lozano Mendes (MEX), athlète en athlétisme handisport