|Host city||Athens, Greece|
|Motto||Great Athletes. Great Performances.|
(Greek: Μεγάλοι αθλητές. Μεγάλες Παραστάσεις.)
|Events||519 in 19 sports|
|Stadium||Athens Olympic Stadium|
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The 2004 Summer Paralympics (Greek : Θερινοί Παραολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004), the 12th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Athens, Greece from 17 September to 28 September 2004. 3,806 athletes from 136 National Paralympic Committees competed. 519 medal events were held in 19 sports.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
The Summer Paralympic Games or the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.
A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly) nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance is the modern Olympic Games.
Four new events were introduced to the Paralympics in Athens; 5-a-side football for the blind, quads wheelchair tennis, and women's competitions in judo and sitting volleyball. Following a scandal at the 2000 Summer Paralympics, in which the Spanish intellectually-disabled basketball team was stripped of their gold medal after it was found that multiple players had not met the eligibility requirements, ID-class events were suspended.
Paralympic football consists of adaptations of the sport of association football for athletes with a physical disability. These sports are typically played using International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) rules, with modifications to the field of play, equipment, numbers of players, and other rules as required to make the game suitable for the athletes.
The 2000 Paralympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia, from 18 to 29 October. In September 1993, Sydney won the rights to host the 2000 Paralympic Games. To secure this right it was expected that the New South Wales Government would underwrite the budget for the games. The Sydney games were the 11th Summer Paralympic Games, where an estimated 3,800 athletes took part in the programme. They commenced with the opening ceremony on 18 October 2000. It was followed by the 11 days of fierce international competition and was the second largest sporting event ever held in Australia. They were also the first Paralympic Games outside the Northern Hemisphere.
A total of 1567 medals were awarded during the Athens games: 519 gold, 516 silver, and 532 bronze. China topped the medal count with more gold medals, more silver medals, and more medals overall than any other nation. In the table below, the ranking sorts by the number of gold medals earned by a nation (in this context a nation is an entity represented by a National Paralympic Committee).
|Totals (10 nations)||277||266||285||828|
Among the top individual medal winners was Mayumi Narita of Japan, who took seven golds and one bronze medal in swimming, setting six world records in the process and bringing her overall Paralympic gold medal total to fifteen. Chantal Petitclerc of Canada won five golds and set three world records in wheelchair racing, while Swedish shooter Jonas Jacobsson took four gold medals.France's Béatrice Hess won her nineteenth and twentieth Paralympic gold medals in swimming. Swimmer Trischa Zorn of the United States won just one medal, a bronze, but it was her 55th ever Paralympic medal. She retained her position as the most successful Paralympian of all times.
Mayumi Narita is a Japanese swimmer, described as "one of the world’s best Paralympic athletes" by the International Paralympic Committee. Japan Today has described her as a "swimming sensation perhaps as great as the Thorpedo but whose name few know". She has won 15 gold medals at the Paralympics, and 20 total.
Chantal Petitclerc, CC, CQ, MSM is a Canadian wheelchair racer and a Senator from Quebec.
Jonas Jacobsson is a Swedish sport shooter who has won several gold medals at the Paralympic Games. He has participated in nine consecutive Summer Paralympics from 1980 to 2012, winning a total of seventeen gold, two silver, and nine bronze medals. In 1996, he won two gold medals in the air rifle 3×40 and English match events and a bronze in the air rifle prone at the Atlanta Paralympics. At the 2000 Summer Paralympics, he took two gold medals in the free rifle 3×40 and free rifle prone events and two bronzes in air rifle standing and air rifle prone events. Four years later, at the Athens Games, he competed in the same four events and won the gold medal in all of them.
The opening ceremony for the 2004 Summer Paralympics took place on September 17, 2004. The show started with children passing on knowledge and raising their lights to the sky. This was a reference to Hippocrates, who transferred knowledge to the children. A 26 meters tall olive tree (with more than 195,000 leaves) symbolising life stood in the middle of the arena. The opening ceremony also featured a performance with human drama, with light and with music, in an allegory about obstacles and limits. The Parade of Delegations was accompanied by the music of French composers Yves Stepping and Jean Christophe. The music told the legend of Hephaestos, god of fire and son of Zeus and Hera. An athlete from Turkmenistan propelled himself around the stadium by doing somersaults. Greece, the home team, received a strong cheer. After that, fireworks erupted at the stadium. There were 150 local support staff involved and 400 volunteers. The children were from ages 8 to 17, coming from Australia, France, Spain, Greece and Germany. The Games were officially declared opened by Greek president Costis Stephanopoulos and Philip Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee. They were accompanied by the head of the organizing committee Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who told the athletes and the audience: "The Olympic flame illuminates athletes. Many of you will leave Athens with medals, but all of you will leave as champions." Phil Craven quoted Democritus in his speech: "Two thousand years ago, Democritus said 'To win oneself is the first and best of all victories.' This holds true for all athletes, but especially for Paralympians. Recognising and cultivating your unique abilities and mastering challenges – you set standards and give expression for many people, young and old, around the world." The Paralympic flame was lit by Paralympic athlete Georgios Toptsis who won bronze medals in 1988 and 1996 and won silver in 1992.
Hippocrates of Kos, also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, who is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is often referred to as the "Father of Medicine" in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields with which it had traditionally been associated, thus establishing medicine as a profession.
The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning "European olive", is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands and Réunion. The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalized in all the countries of the Mediterranean coast, as well as in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Java, Norfolk Island, California, and Bermuda. Olea europaea is the type species for the genus Olea.
As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred widely throughout history in all forms of art, largely because it can readily illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.
The closing ceremony for the 2004 Summer Paralympics took place on September 28, 2004. The traditional cultural display was removed from the ceremony as a mark of respect for the deaths of seven teenagers from Farkadona, travelling to Athens, whose bus collided with a truck near the town of Kamena Vourla.
Farkadona is a municipality in the southeastern Trikala regional unit, part of Thessaly in Greece. In 2011 its population was 2,652 for the town and 13,396 for the municipality. It is located about halfway between the cities Larissa to the east, and Trikala to the west, at about 30 km from both. It is situated in the Thessalian Plain, near the river Pineios. Farkadona is on the Greek National Road 6.
Kamena Vourla is a town and a former municipality in Phthiotis, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Molos-Agios Konstantinos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 117.496 km2. The population of the town proper was 2,796 at the 2011 census. The town was formerly known as Palaiochori.
Flags were flown at half mast and a minute's silence was observed. In contrast with the formal nature of the opening ceremony, the athletes entered the stadium for the final time as a collective. The flag of the IPC was then officially handed over to the 2008 hosts, Beijing. An artistic presentation to acknowledge Beijing as the next host was still shown, which also unveiled the IPC's new logo. A procession of young people then made their way to join the athletes in the centre of the stadium carrying paper lanterns, before the Paralympic flame was extinguished, the final moment of the Paralympic Games.
Although the Paralympic Games were broadcast to around 1.6 billion viewers throughout 49 countries,some controversy was caused when no American television network stayed to broadcast the event. This resulted in some US viewers having to wait almost 2 months until the coverage was broadcast, compared with live feeds in the UK and other countries.
The BBC won the best broadcaster award.
The 2004 Summer Paralympics included 19 sports. New events featured in the Games were five-a-side blind football, women's sitting volleyball, and quads wheelchair tennis.
Results for individual events can be found on the relevant page.
In total 15 venues were used at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Athletes from 135 nations competed in the Athens Paralympics.Bangladesh, Botswana, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Suriname, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan all competed for the first time.
The 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, USA were held from August 16 to 25. It was the first Paralympics to get mass media sponsorship, and had a budget of USD $81 million.
The 1988 Summer Paralympics, were the first Paralympics in 24 years to take place in the same city as the Olympic Games. They took place in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first time the term "Paralympic" came into official use.
The 1980 Summer Paralympics, branded as the Olympics for the Disabled, were the sixth Summer Paralympic Games. They were held in Arnhem, Netherlands, from June 21 to 30, 1980.
The 1984 International Games for the Disabled, canonically the 1984 Summer Paralympics were the seventh Paralympic Games to be held. They were in fact two separate competitions – one in Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom for wheelchair athletes with spinal cord injuries and the other at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, United States of America for wheelchair and ambulatory athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees, and les autres [the others]. Stoke Mandeville had been the location of the Stoke Mandeville Games from 1948 onwards, seen as the precursors to the Paralympic Games. As with the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Soviet Union and other communist countries except China, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia boycotted the Paralympic Games.
The 1992 Summer Paralympics were the ninth Paralympic Games to be held. They were held in Barcelona, Spain. In addition, the 1992 Paralympic Games for Persons with mental handicap were held immediately after the regular Paralympics in the Spanish capital, Madrid.
The National Paralympic Games are high-level multi-sport events held at the national level by the International Paralympic Committee and national Paralympic Committees in non-Olympic years. The events provide competitions for disabled athletes.
The 2016 Summer Paralympics, the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. The Games marked the first time a Latin American and South American city hosted the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, and also the first time a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country hosted the event. These Games saw the introduction of two new sports to the Paralympic program: canoeing and the paratriathlon.
The United States sent a delegation to compete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China. A total of 213 U.S. competitors took part in 18 sports; the only 2 sports Americans did not compete in were soccer 5-a-side and 7-a-side. The American delegation included 16 former members of the U.S. military, including 3 veterans of the Iraq War. Among them were shot putter Scott Winkler, who was paralyzed in an accident in Iraq, and swimmer Melissa Stockwell, a former United States Army officer who lost her left leg to a roadside bomb in the war.
China competed at the 2004 Summer Paralympics, held in Athens, Greece. The country topped the medal table for the first time.
The 2014 Asian Para Games, officially known as the 2nd Asian Para Games, was an Asian disabled multi-sport event held in Incheon, South Korea, from 18 to 24 October 2014, 2 weeks after the end of the 2014 Asian Games. This was the first time South Korea hosted the games.
The United States sent a delegation to compete at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece. A total of 235 U.S. competitors took part in 18 sports; the only sport Americans did not compete in was soccer 5-a-side. The United States finished fourth in the gold and overall medal count, behind China, Great Britain and Canada.
The 4th Parapan American Games took place from November 12 to 20 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Games are an international multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability. The Games were held 20 days after the 2011 Pan American Games began. The opening and closing ceremonies were produced by FiveCurrents.
Canada competed at the XI Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia from October 18 to 19, 2000. The Canadian team included 166 athletes; 113 men and 53 women. Canada finished third in the medal table and won a total of ninety-six medals; thirty-eight gold, thirty-three silver and twenty-five bronze.
The 2020 Summer Paralympics are an upcoming major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee. Scheduled as the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, it is planned to be held in Tokyo, Japan from 25 August to 6 September 2020. This will mark the second time Tokyo has hosted the Paralympics, as they were first hosted there in 1964 alongside the 1964 Summer Olympics.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland competed, under the name Great Britain, at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. The first places for which the team qualified were for six athletes in sailing events.
China has qualified to send athletes to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. Sports China is competed in include blind football, archery, boccia, cycling, goalball, judo, paracanoeing, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
Japan is planning to send athletes to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 September to 18 September 2016. The country qualified athletes in cycling, goalball, sailing, and wheelchair basketball.
Brazil was competed in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, as host country, from 7 September to 18 September 2016.
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