This elite sports event is held in the same city and the same venues as Olympic Games. In Finland, the Paralympic activities are led by the Finnish Paralympic Committee.
The Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee and recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
The Paralympic activities first started after the Second World War and the first official Paralympics were held in Romein 1960. Nowadays, the Paralympics are always held in the same host city and venues and in the same year as Olympic Games.
Originally, it was only physically disabled athletes who took part in the games, but in Torontoin 1976 visually impaired athletes joined in, and in Atlantain 1996 the first competitors with mental disabilities came along. Nowadays physically disabled and visually disabled athletes are competing in the Paralympic Games.
The Paralympics have gone a long way from having a purely social function to being a world-class elite sports competition. Today, the results achieved are world-class, and to succeed in the competition requires full-time training, tremendous persistence and hard work.
Gold and fame
Finland has been one of the most successful countries in the Paralympic Games. In the Winter Games Finland is on the very top and at its best in the Summer Games it was among the 11 top countries.