The word “Paralympic” derives from the word “Olympic” and the Greek preposition “para”, which means beside or alongside. This verbally illustrates that the Paralympics are the parallel Games to the Olympic Games and that they exist side-by-side.
Its origin dates back to July 29, 1948 – the day of the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games of 1948. Dr Ludwig Guttman who had opened a spinal injury rehabilitation centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain, organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes. He called it the Stoke Mandeville Games, and 16 injured service men and women took part.
In 1960, the Stoke Mandeville Games would be renamed the Paralympic games and coincide with the Rome Olympic Games. 400 athletes from 23 countries took part in the first official Paralympic games.
South Africa made its Paralympic debut in 1964 at the summer games in Tokyo, Japan by sending 9 athletes to compete. 56 years later, the Paralympics have become the second largest sporting event in the world. South Africa has gone from sending 9 athletes to 45 athletes who are expected to take part in the Rio Paralympics from the 7-18 September as part of TeamSA.
This morning SASCOC announced the 45 athletes set to take part in the Paralympic games 2016. The team will represent 10 different disciplines, which is an increase from the 7 represented in London 2012 and 4 in 1964.
SASCOC also announced that they will be offering the same incentives to the Paralympians as they’ve offered to the Olympians.
The Full Team SA for the Summer Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio
Women: Alani Ferreira, Emily Gray, Shireen Sapiro
Men: Achmat Hassiem, Hendri Herbst, Kevin Paul
Manager/Coach: Karin Hugo, Delon Dannhauser, Theo Verster
Men: Shaun Anderson
Manager/Coach: Barbara Manning
Women: Ilse Carstens, Louzanne Coetzee, Liezel Gouws, Anrune Liebenberg, Zandile Nhlapo, Zanele Situ, Chenelle Van Zyl
Men: Dyan Buis, Charl Du Toit, Arnu Fourie, Reinhardt Hamman, Hilton Langenhoven, Ntando Mahlangu, Mpumelelo Mhlongo, Jonathan Ntutu, Tyrone Pillay, Union Sekailwe, Fanie Van Der Merwe, Ernst van Dyk, Khothatso Mokone (Guide)
Manager/Coach: Suzanne Ferreira, Karin Le Roux, Daniel Damon, Raymond Julius, Neels Matthyser
Men: Graham Paull
Manager/Coach: Fouche Van Tonder
Men: Ernst Van Dyk, Craig Ridgard, Goldy Fuchs, Justine Asher, Roxanne Burns, Dane Wilson
Manager/Coach: Pieter Jansen (Mechanic), Elrick Kulsen, JC Van der Walt
Women: Philippa Johnson, Mieke Wirix (Groom)
Manager/Coach: Christiaan Haazen
Women: Chantelle Stierman
Manager/Coach: Andrew Ludik
Women: Lucy Perold, Sandra Khumalo, Shannon Murray
Men: Dylan Trollope, Dieter Rosslee, Willie Morgan (Coxwain)
Manager/Coach: Marco Galeone
Men: Von Zeuner Kohne
Manager/Coach: Alexis Volschenk
Women: KG Montjane
Men: Leon Els, Lucas Sithole, Evans Maripa
Manager/Coach: Khotso Matshego, Holger Losch
Chief Medical Doctor: Dr. Phathokuhle Zondi
Doctor: Dr. Carolette Cloete
Chief Physiotherapist: Bafana Sihlali
Physiotherapists: Tarina Van der Stockt, Khuliso Netshvangani, Narayani Pillay and Tanya Green
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.