Difference between Olympics and Paralympics

Key Difference: The primary difference between the Olympics and Paralympics is that while most of the participants in the Olympics are able-bodies, the participants in the Paralympics are affected by some form of physical or intellectual disabilities.

OlympicsThe Olympics and Paralympics are two of the biggest sporting events that occur around the world. Due to this it can be often difficult telling then apart and highlighting the differences between the two.

The primary difference between the Olympics and Paralympics is that while most of the participants in the Olympics are able-bodies, the participants in the Paralympics are affected by some form of physical or intellectual disabilities. In fact, the Paralympics originally started as a way to help soldiers that had been wounded in World War II. The games started off as a way to provide rehabilitating sport for veterans, which eventually turned into recreational sport with friendly competition before eventually developing into what the Paralympics are today.

Other than these, all the other differences are superficial, such as the Olympics are overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whereas the Paralympics is overseen by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).  There are also slight differences regarding the sports playing within the games, as well as the county members that participate in the event. 

However, both the Olympics and the Paralympics take place every four years, in two segments: The Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics; similarly the Summer Paralympics and the Winter Paralympics. Due to a joint agreement between IOC and IPC, the Summer Paralympics take place in the same city as the Summer Olympics, immediately after the later has concluded. Similarly, the Winter Paralympics take place in the same city after the Winter Olympics.

Paralympics Regardless of everything else, it should be noted that the Olympics are much older and are much more popular than the Paralympics. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896, whereas the Paralympics first officially took place in 1960. It is due to this that Olympics tend to be much better funded than the Paralympics. It is also due to this that most people know of the Olympics, but fewer have heard about the Paralympics.

The Paralympics were intended to be to disabled athletes what Olympics are for able-bodied athletes; however, there is a large funding gap between the Olympics and Paralympic athletes, which has caused the Paralympians to strive for treatment equal with non-disabled Olympic athletes. Something that is an ongoing struggle, but Paralympians have now been getting more attention than they previously were.

Comparison between Olympics and Paralympics:

 

Olympics

Paralympics

Description

Worldwide Sporting Competition

Worldwide Sporting Competition

Governing Body

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Headquarters

Lausanne, Switzerland

Bonn, Germany

Membership

105 active members, 32 honorary members, 1 honor member

176 National Paralympic Committees

First Held

After the Ancient Olympics the games were revived. The first modern Olympics were set in 1896.

The Paralympic Games first took place in Rome, Italy in 1960.

Title

Biggest sporting event in the world

Second biggest sporting event in the world

Parts

Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics

Summer Paralympics and Winter Paralympics

Participants

Able bodied athletes

Athletes with some kind of physical or intellectual disabilities

Duration

The Summer Olympics are held every 4 years.

The Winter Olympics are held every 4 years.

The Summer Paralympics are held every 4 years.

The Winter Paralympics are held every 4 years.

Reference: Olympics, Paralympics, Wikipedia (Olympics, Paralympics, IOC, IPC)
Image Courtesy: olympic.org, metro.co.uk

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