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The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power (e.g. paraplegia and quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, post-polio syndrome, spina bifida), impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency (e.g. amputation or dysmelia), leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The Paralympics has grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
A medal ceremony is held after each Paralympic event is concluded. The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals. After the medals are given out by an IPC member, the national flags of the three medallists are raised while the national anthem of the gold medallists country plays. Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers. For every Paralympic event, the respective medal ceremony is held, at most, one day after the event’s final.
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