Commonwealth, World Cup, English Premier League are sports event that is very popular. Besides all those events, the Olympics and Paralympics are one of the most well-known sporting events in the world now. Everybody knows about Olympics and Paralympics.
The background of Olympics is founded by a young Frenchmen named Pierre de Coubertin. In 1890, he organized and founded a sports organization, Union des Sociétés Francaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA). Two years later, Coubertin first pitched his idea to revive the Olympic Games. (Jennifer Rosenberg 2010)
Besides that, the background of Paralympics is the first Paralympics Games were held in Rome, Italy, in 1960 and involved 400 athletes from 23 countries.Â Originally only wheelchair athletes were invited to compete. Since that time, the Paralympics Games have grown dramatically. (History of the Paralympics Movement, online)
Both the Olympics and Paralympics have some interesting similarities and differences in terms o the criteria, time of event, games played, rules of games and mission and vision.
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Both athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics need to be national players of their own countries and meet the requirements set by the Olympics organization in order to participate in these events. However, besides this basic requirement, both the Olympics and Paralympics have other requirements that are very different.
For the Olympics, qualified athlete must at least meet the minimum requirement set by the Olympics organization in order to participate in the Olympics game, which is at least a national athlete. And they are all usually train in the young age. For example, Gymnastics and other acrobatic events, kids as young as 4 can be selected for elite programs to prepare for the Olympics game. However, sports like wrestling or rowing, adult's bodies are required to really excel, so intense training usually starts around high school. . (10 Steps to Become an Olympic Athlete 2010, online)
Youth athletes require a lot of intense training all the time, and competing with all the junior level, year around. And for the athletes who are outstanding will go on to careers as adults and represent their country and take part in Olympics game.
Eventually, athletes that perform the best track time from their own country, or got titles in the junior level, or got the best records among all the college or universities, etcâ€¦ may qualify for entrance into the Olympic trials. And lastly, if they place high enough in the trial, they may be selected for the team. Furthermore, Olympics game is open to all age. The oldest Olympic medalist was 72 years old.
For Paralympics instead, in order to participate in Paralympics, according to Paralympic Game 2010, online, "athletes must be with disabilities such as, cerebral palsy, spinal injuries, amputated limbs, visual impairments or some other mobility disability." And that is the only requirement that required entering in Paralympics game. Athletes that participate in Paralympics with disability but do not interfere with their ability to participate in the game are all welcome to join the Paralympics game.
Paralympics competitors are classified based on their level of disability during the game. And all the participants must learn the requirements, the rules and regulations and also the classification before the game.
As usual, they are all selected in the national game before they participate in the Paralympics game. Thus, from the criteria above, these are the differences between these two events. And these are the different criteria of these two major sports games.
2.2: Time of event
Olympics game is a major event which held every 4 years. However it is classified into 2 groups which are winter game and summer game. Therefore, in another word, it is held every 2 years but 4 years within their respective games. For example, in the year of 2004, summer Olympics game was held in Athens, Greece. In the year of 2008, it was held in Beijing, China. For winter Olympic game, in the year of 2006, it was held in Turin, Italy. And in the year of 2010, winter Olympic game was held in Vancouver, Canada. (Jennifer Rosenberg 2010)
As you can see from the example, Olympics game was held every 2 years. However, many of us only concern on the summer Olympics games but not the winter Olympics games.
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For Paralympics, it is also the same as Olympics game. And it usually held immediately after the Olympic game.
2. 3: Games Played
There are many different kinds of games played in Olympics and Paralympics. Some of the games played are the same but just different ways of playing. The similarities of games played for Olympics and Paralympics is it is categorize as summer and winter games.
As an example, the last Olympics which is 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, there were a total of 28 summer sports. For Olympics Summer Games, categorized sports played on land and water sports. For sports played on land, there is archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, fencing, football, handball, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, judo, handball, and taekwondo. For water sports, there are swimming, diving, sailing, water polo, synchronized swimming. (Olympics Sports List 2007, online)
Paralympics has also the games played in Olympics but the difference is the way of playing. For example instead of basketball, it is wheelchair basketball. Therefore, for Summer Sports Paralympics are archery, athletics, boccia, bowls, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-Side, football 7-a-Side, goalball, Judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair dance sport, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
Moreover, for winter Olympics games, it is categorized in a few categories which is Ice Sports, Alpine, Skiing and Snowboarding Events and Nordic Events. On the other side, Paralympics have only four winter sports which is alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey, nordic skiing, and wheelchair curling. There are only two winter sports which is similar, another two is not played in Olympics winter games.
In conclusion, Olympics and Paralympics sports have summer and winter games. Some of the games played are the same but different ways of playing.
2.4: Rules of Sports
There are many kinds of sports in Olympics and Paralympics. Every sport has their own rules. There is a few reasons that why the rules are set. The first reason is to make sure that the competition between the athletes must be fair. Another reason is to make sure that no drugs are taken and cheating during the competition. All the rules must be followed by all the athletes strictly. There are a few examples of the rules of sports played in Olympics and Paralympics. Below are the examples of the rules of 3 similar games played in Olympics and Paralympics. Although the games are the same but the rules is different.
For Olympics, the first sport is basketball. In basketball, there are four quarters in each game. There are 10 minutes per quarter for the four quarters. After the second quarter, there is a half time break. The half time break lasts 15 minutes long. By the end of the quarter, the score of both teams are the same, there will be overtime. This overtime period is an extra period that lasts for 5 minutes. Besides that, in Olympic basketball, the referee can awards two foul shots to a fouled player if the team committing the foul has more than four fouls in the period. (Rules 2007, Online)
For basketball in Paralympics, a player can wheel the chair and bounce the ball, if the ball is picked up and placed on the player's lap, the player is only allowed to push twice before they shoot, pass or dribble the ball again. Besides that, a player lifting his or her legs to gain an advantage is given a technical foul. On an inbounds play, the offensive player is not allowed to go into the key area until the ball is handed to the bounding player by the referee. (Wheelchair Basketball Rules 2005, online)
For Olympics, is rugby. In rugby, a player is allowed to carry, pass, kick and ground to score a point for the team. Rugby is also called as an 'end-zone invasion game'. It means that each team focuses on gaining possession of the ball, taking it into the opponent's territory, and placing it in the goal area or the end zone to get the score. There are two categories of players. First one is forwards which consist of 8 players and the second one is backs which consist of 7 players.( Basic Rules of Rugby, online)
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For Paralympics, is wheelchair rugby, it is played by two teams of up to 12 players. Only 4 players from each team may be on the court at any time. For this game, girls and boys can be in the same team to play a game. The court of the wheelchair rugby is 28 meters long and 15 meters wide. The required court markings are a centre line and circle, a key area measuring 8 meters wide and 1.75 meters deep at each end of the court. The goal line is the section of the end line within the key. Players score by carrying the ball across the line. ( IWRF, online)
The third sport is volleyball. For volleyball, a team scores a point by grounding the ball on the opposite side of the court. In order to win the game, the team must win three sets of 25 points. Besides that, the four types of sanctions in volleyball. The first one is warning, second one is penalty, third one is expulsion and the last one is disqualified. Another common rule is the blocking rule. Blocking is when a team player attempts to reach higher than the net to intercept a ball, however as a rule only those players on the front line can attempt this play. Otherwise, there will be a penalty.( Volleyball Basic Rules, online)
For sitting volleyball, the position of each player is determined and controlled by the position of their bottoms. Their hands and legs may lie in the attack or free zone outside the court. The referees in sitting volleyball must stand to the sides of the court because of the height of the net and the players are in seated position. The referee's official hand signal is raising the upper hand and forearm positioned parallel to the floor and mirror imaging the lower hand and forearm.
2. 5: Mission and Vision of Olympics and Paralympics
Every Olympics and Paralympics, the missions and vision is different. As a example, the mission and vision for Beijing Olympics is One World, One Dream. This mission and vision is to make the whole world to have the same target and same dream, in order to achieve the target and dream, they have to work together as one. This mission and vision is also use to motivate those athletes to work as hard as they can to achieve their target. (Beijing 2008, Online)
For Paralympics, the mission and vision was To Enable Paralympics Athletes to Achieve Sporting Excellence and Inspire and Excite the World. This mission and vision is to make those people who have a disable to gain their confident in doing stuffs. Some of the people who have a disable will give up because of what they are, so they will need this motivation to have their confident back so that they won't feel that they are useless. (Vision Mission Values 2010, Online)
For this coming Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, the mission and vision is to stage inspiration Olympics Games and Paralympics Games that capture the imagination of young people around the world and leave a lasting legacy. This mission and vision is to make the new generation to last the sports spirit. (London 2012 Vision for the Olympics 2010, Online)
In conclusion, after comparing and contrast of the criteria, time of event, games played, rules of games and mission and vision of Olympics and Paralympics, there are similarities and differences between Olympics and Paralympics. For the criteria, Olympics and Paralympics has different criteria to achieve. Besides that, for the time for event is held is similar but the only difference is Paralympics is held only after Olympics. For the games played, there are some games is that same sports but just different ways of playing and the similarities is that both Olympics and Paralympics have summer and winter games. Moreover, the rules of the games are totally different although the game is the same. Finally, although both of these events is different but the mission and vision of these events is similar.
Olympics and Paralympics are events that challenge athletes all around the world, able-bodied and disabled alike. It is truly an event that helps to ensure personal confidents, dignity and also countries name.