Welcoming the Paralympics to Vancouver

Bundle up all the characteristics found in Olympians, add in additional extraordinary skill and admirable efforts and you end up with Paralympians.  On March 12th, 2010 the Paralympics will start in Vancouver.  1,350 athletes from 43 different countries will compete in 64 events. Now that the 2010 Winter Olympics have ended, many people feel that the intensity of the Olympics focus should remain strong as we welcome the Paralympics to Vancouver.

To put this in perspective, the Paralympics represent the strongest example of honouring diversity in our society.  The athletes have overcome significant challenges in order to compete in these games.

The categories in the Paralympics include:

  • Amputee: Athletes with a partial or total loss of at least one limb.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Athletes with non-progressive brain damage, for example cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke or similar disabilities affecting muscle control, balance or coordination.
  • Intellectual Disability: Athletes with a significant impairment in intellectual functioning and associated limitations in adaptive behavior. (This category is currently suspended.)
  • Wheelchair: Athletes with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities which require them to compete in a wheelchair.
  • Visually Impaired: Athletes with vision impairment ranging from partial vision, sufficient to be judged legally blind, to total blindness.
  • Les Autres: Athletes with a physical disability that does not fall strictly under one of the other five categories, such as dwarfism, multiple sclerosis or congenital deformities of the limbs such as that caused by thalidomide (the name for this category is the French for “the others”).

Paralympians are classified into one of three categories:  visually impaired, standing or sitting

Canadian families can relate to this concept of diversity.  Between physical, emotional and psychological and/or learning challenges, many children in Canadian households and within extended families experience some kind of disability that sets them apart as being different from the idealized notion of “norm”.  In this way we all can empathize with and appreciate the accomplishments of the Paralympians.

So let the games begin, bring on the enthusiasm and please feel free to share this posting with your friends by E-mail or on your social network.

If you are planning to attend the games we would love to hear your plans or hear about your experiences.


  • Australia Australia
  • Austria Austria
  • Belarus Belarus
  • Belgium Belgium
  • Canada Canada
  • China China
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Finland Finland
  • France France
  • Germany Germany
  • Great Britain Great Britain
  • Greece Greece
  • Hungary Hungary
  • Iceland Iceland
  • Italy Italy
  • Japan Japan
  • Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
  • Mexico Mexico
  • Norway Norway
  • Netherlands Netherlands
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Russia Russia
  • Serbia Serbia
  • Slovakia Slovakia
  • Slovenia Slovenia
  • South Africa South Africa
  • South Korea South Korea
  • Spain Spain
  • Sweden Sweden
  • Switzerland Switzerland
  • Ukraine Ukraine
  • United States United States


Five sports will be on the 2010 program:

  • Paralympic alpine skiing.png Alpine Skiing: completed on a single ski, without ski poles or navigating based on a guide’s directions
  • Paralympic biathlon.png Biathlon: Biathletes with a visual impairment ski with a guide and shoot with electronic rifles enabling them to aim by sound
  • Paralympic cross country.png Cross country skiing: skis move parallel in the tracks, push off with the edge of their skis like skaters or sit ski in a track while seated in a sit-ski
  • Paralympic curling.png Wheelchair curling: all elements are the same except for sweeping.  More results remain in play.
  • Paralympic sledge hockey.png Sledge hockey:  athletes use two double ended sticks, one end has a curved blade for the puck while picks on the other end help maneuvere the sledge.

TV Listings

Saturday, March 13

– Opening ceremony 2PM CTV

– Sledge Hockey: Canada Vs Italy 10 AM, Rogers Sportsnet Pacific (live); 4 PM, CTV (delay)

Sunday, March 14

– Sledge hockey: Canada vs. Sweden, 1:30 PM, RSP (live)

– Daily highlights 3 PM, CTV

Monday, March 15

– Daily highlights, 12:30 PM, TSN

Tuesday, March 16

– Sledge hockey:  Canada vs. Norway, 8:30 PM, TSN (live)

– Daily highlights: 3:30 PM, RSP

Wednesday, March 17

– Daily highlights: 3:30 PM, RSP

Thursday, March 18

– Sledge hockey: semifinal, 12 noon, RSP (live)

– Daily highlights: 12:30 PM, TSN

Friday, March 19

– Daily highlights: 12:3 PM, TSN

Saturday, March 20

– Sledge hockey: gold-medal game, 12 noon, CTV (live)

– Daily highlights: 10:30 AM, RSP

Sunday, March 21

– Daily highlights: 4 PM, CTV

Local sites from the Winter Olympics that are operating during the Paralympics include:
* The British Columbia Pavilion

* Canada Pavilion

*LiveCity Downtown, Georgia and Beatty, 11 – 12:30 AM (Visit a created “piazza” featuring a large outdoor screen, daytime interactive school programming and street entertainment.  This site opens Feb. 11th.  It will reopen during the Paralympics from March 12 to March 21.)

* Olympic Cauldron

* Olympic Line Streetcar

* Robson Square Signature Celebration Site

* Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

* Vancouver Art Gallery (Free admission during the games, open until 9 PM, Michael Lin artwork on north facade and free admission to a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition)

* Whistler Live

* Ziptrek Vancouver, Robson between Hornby and Howe Streets (A unique opportunity to zip over Robson Square).

Related articles:

Official Paralympic site (with news about ticket purchase)

Competition schedule

Information about the torch relay and the Follow the Flame website

Community centre events related to the Paralympics

Purchase Olympic street banners and help raise money for Haiti

Thrown down to bloggers and British Columbians

First ever Paralymipcs torch relay (news article)

Details about the Winter Paralympics

General information about the Paralympics

Paralympic Canada website

Disabledworld.com and www.ParalympicSport.TV will provide 150 hours of live and tape delayed video coverage of the games

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