The Paralympics may be over but fear not, there’s plenty of para sporting events going on all around the world this spring! The biggest of all are the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games taking place in Queensland, Australia from April 4-15. Athletes from around 70 nations and territories from the Commonwealth of Nations come together every four years to participate.
From 1962-1974 athletes with disabilities participated in the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games but in 1994 they were introduced at the Commonwealth Games in exhibition events. In 2004 at the games in Manchester, England, para athletes were fully integrated national team members whose results were included in the medal count. This makes the Commonwealth Games the first fully inclusive international multi-sport games!
This year there will be about 300 para athletes, split equally between women and men, contesting 28 medal events across 8 sports. This is a 45% increase in athletes with 73% more events than the last games in Glasgow in 2014!
The para sports taking place will be athletics, swimming, power lifting, track cycling, table tennis, triathlon and the first ever Commonwealth Games wheelchair marathon. All eyes will be on Australia’s own Kurt Fearnley and Madison de Rozario, the #2 ranked and #5 ranked men’s and women’s wheelchair marathoners in the world! In addition, Fearnley will serve as a Co-Captain of the Australian athletics team for the Games!
We won’t be Down Under to see the games live but will be watching from afar! Follow us on Twitter for updates on the Commonwealth Games and many other events happening soon!