The Paralympic Games – real sport

Paralympic sport
Looks like Madison de Rozario was pleased with her final training session before flying out.

The Olympic Games are over and what a feast it was; but it’s not done for Rio 2016. It’s time for the Paralympics. The 2016 Paralympic Games are just a week away with the Opening Ceremony at 7am on September 8 (AWST). How exciting!

To truly enjoy and appreciate paralympic sport it’s important to realise it is sport. Real sport – not make believe sport.  The athletes are elite, dedicated individuals who have worked hard to represent their country, and like their Olympic counterparts, everything they did in the last four years was about Rio 2016.

Many TV stations and advertisers around the world are seeing the excitement and getting involved. To add to that, the IPC announced last week Dailymotion would serve as the official online streaming partner for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, offering 15 English-language streaming channels with full broadcasts of athletics, cycling, football, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis events, as well as the ceremonies, highlights from all events, news programmes and other original content.


Classification is an important part of para-sport. Because para-athletes have varying degrees of impairment, classifiers have the task of grouping athletes based on the impact of these impairments on each sport.

As an example, wheelchair track athletes may be classified as T52, T53 or T54 where a T52 athlete has damage to their spinal cord in the higher parts of the back and therefore have substantially impaired or no trunk function and leg function. Their pushing power would come from elbow extensions.

A T53 has impaired trunk movements, some with no spinal control. They would have some interference in their ability to perform long and forceful strokes. While a T54 would have normal or nearly normal, upper limb function. They may have no upper trunk movements and when pushing, the trunk is usually lying on the legs. Those with almost normal trunk function are able to perform long and forceful strokes.

Another example is in wheelchair basketball where athletes have impairments affecting their legs or feet. These athletes are classified from 1.0 to 4.5 in increments of 0.5 based on trunk control and sitting balance. Although the different classes play simultaneously, the total “points” of the five players on the court at any one time must not exceed 14.

An excellent guide to Paralympic classification can be found at the IPC website.

Are you ready for the best in the world?

More than 4,000 of the world’s best athletes will be at the games parallel to the Olympics – the Paralympics, and Rio 2016 will be the fifteenth Paralympic Games, the first being Rome 1960. It’s grown a lot in 56 years and so has its audience. The world audience will be huge in Rio even if the venues, because of economics, won’t be. There will be so many great moments – joyous, disappointment, relief. Just like any other sport.

And what we will witness will be the product of four years of dream-making. It will not be because of or in spite of something that happened five years ago, or 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. We will see dedicated elite athletes doing what they love to do and what we love to watch – sport.

Here’s a short video that recaps London 2012.


The Australian Team for the 2016 Paralympic Games

Paralympic sport

Jonathan Milne

Rae Anderson
Angie Ballard
Carlee Beattie
Sam Carter
Aaron Chatman
Erin Cleaver
Jaryd Clifford
Gabriel Cole
Tasmin Colley
Richard Colman
Brianna Coop
Brayden Davidson
Christie Dawes
Madison de Rozario
Taylor Doyle
Jodi Elkington-Jones
Louise Ellery
Kurt Fearnley
Nicole Harris
Guy Henly
Todd Hodgetts
Madeleine Hogan
Isis Holt
Nicholas Hum
Torita Isaac
Claire Keefer
Deon Kenzie
Jake Lappin
Rosemary Little
Rheed McCracken
Sam McIntosh
Brydee Moore
Jemima Moore
Evan O’Hanlon
Ella Pardy
Chad Perris
Kath Proudfoot
Scott Reardon
Michael Roeger
Jayden Sawyer
Brad Scott
Russell Short
Emily Tapp
James Turner
Sarah Walsh
Jesse Wyatt

Daniel Michel

Kyle Bridgwood
Caroline Cooke
Alistair Donohoe
David Edwards (Pilot)
Matthew Formston
Jessica Gallagher
Michael Gallagher
Madison Janssen (Pilot)
Simone Kennedy
Alexandra Lisney
Kieran Modra
David Nicholas
Sue Powell
Amanda Reid
Stuart Tripp
Nick Yallouris (Pilot)

Emma Booth
Sharon Jarvis
Lisa Martin
Katie Umback

Jennifer Blow
Nicole Esdaile
Meica Horsburgh
Raissa Martin
Michelle Rzepecki
Tynan Taylor

Dylan Littlehales
Curtis McGrath
Jocelyn Neumueller
Amanda Reynolds
Susan Seipel
Colin Sieders

Nick Beveridge
Bill Chaffey
Kate Doughty
Brant Garvey
Michellie Jones (guide)
Katie Kelly
Claire McLean

Gavin Bells
Josephine Burnand
Eric Horrie
Brock Ingram
Davinia Lefroy
Jeremy McGrath
Kathleen Murdoch
Kathryn Ross

Russell Boaden
Matthew Bugg
Daniel Fitzgibbon
Jonathon Harris
Colin Harrison
Leisl Tesch

Luke Cain
Elizabeth Kosmala
Anton Lee Zappelli
Bradley Mark
Christopher Pitt
Natalie Smith

Joshua Alford
Michael Anderson
Jesse Aungles
Emily Beecroft
Liam Bekric
Blake Cochrane
Ellie Cole
Rowan Crothers
Katja Dedekind
Timothy Disken
Maddison Elliott
Daniel Fox
Matthew Haanappel
Brenden Hall
Guy Harrison-Murray
Timothy Hodge
Tanya Huebner
Braedan Jason
Jenna Jones
Ahmed Kelly
Paige Leonhardt
Matthew Levy
Jeremy McClure
Ashleigh McConnell
Monique Murphy
Lakeisha Patterson
Rick Pendleton
Logan Powell
Sean Russo
Liam Schulter
Madeleine Scott
Jacob Templeton
Tiffany Thomas Kane
Rachael Watson
Prue Watt
Kate Wilson

Table Tennis
Daniela Di Toro
Andrea McDonnell
Barak Mizrachi
Melissa Tapper
Samuel Von Einem

Wheelchair Basketball
Josh Alison
Jannik Blair
Adam Deans
Tristan Knowles
Bill Latham
Matthew McShane
Bradley Ness
Shaun Norris
Tom O’Neil-Thorne
Shawn Russell
Tige Simmons
Bret Stibners

Wheelchair Rugby
Ryley Batt
Chris Bond
Cameron Carr
Andrew Edmondson
Nazim Erdem
Ben Fawcett
Andrew Harrison
Josh Hose
Jason Lees
Matthew Lewis
Ryan Scott
Jayden Warn

Wheelchair Tennis
Dylan Alcott
Sarah Calati
Heath Davidson
Adam Kellerman
Ben Weekes


What was the best thing before sliced bread?”