The 2014 Commonwealth Games kick off in 2014 in Glasgow today and we should all be very excited.
Not just because it’s the 3rd biggest international multi-sport event behind only the Olympics and Asian games. And not just because this is the biggest Commonwealth Games in history. And not even because the opening ceremony is taking place at the home of the greatest football team in the history of the universe.
But, crucially, because it gives Para-Sports equal billing alongside all the traditional events.
This year there are more Para-Sport medals and events than ever before - between 23 July and 3 August 2014, there will be 22 Para-Sport medal events up for grabs across five sports.
That makes these the most inclusive Commonwealth Games ever and gives us another chance to build on the success of the 2012 Paralympics, where ticket sales and viewing figures soared far beyond forecasts.
“Our experience of London 2012 showed that there is tremendous public appetite for elite disability sport,” said Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, “and the Commonwealth Games is a great platform to showcase the incredible talents of para-athletes to a worldwide audience.”
Now, a new generation of sports lovers are now seeing inclusion and special needs participation as normalised, and are seeing people with disabilities as athletes with just as much value and importance as any other competitor.
Former Paralympic Athlete, Tanni Grey Thomson, said: “Including events for disabled athletes on a full-medal status, as in Glasgow, means that many countries have to start thinking about sport provision for disabled people, and it may encourage different thinking on education too.”
Here’s the full list of Para-Sport events you’ll be able to check out at this year’s games:
Athletics (six medal events)
• Men’s 100m T37
• Men’s 1,500m T54
• Men’s discuss F42/44
• Women’s 100m T12
• Women’s 1,500m T54
• Women’s long jump F37/38
Swimming (six medal events)
• Men’s 100m freestyle S9 (S7/S8 eligible)
• Men’s 200m freestyle S14
• Men’s 200m individual medley SM8 (SM7 eligible)
• Women’s 100m freestyle S8 (S7 eligible)
• Women’s 100m breaststroke SB9 (SB8 eligible)
• Women’s 200m individual medley SM10 (SM9 eligible)
Powerlifting (four medal events)
• Men’s lightweight - division of weight categories to be determined by IPC
• Men’s heavyweight division of weight categories to be determined by IPC
• Women’s lightweight - division of weight categories to be determined by IPC
• Women’s heavyweight division of weight categories to be determined by IPC
Track Cycling (four medal events)
• Men’s 1,000m time trial B tandem
• Men’s sprint B tandem
• Women’s 1,000m time trial B tandem
• Women’s sprint B tandem
Lawn Bowls (two medal events)
• B2/B3 Mixed Pairs
• B6/B7/B8 Open Triples
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