The Paralympic Games as a force for peaceful coexistence / Ian Brittain

Brittain, Ian

The International Olympic Committee advocates that one of the three ultimate goals of Olympism is to build a peaceful and better world through sport. The International Paralympic Committee, on the other hand, is slightly less grandiose when stating its key aim of enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to inspire and excite the world. However, it does state that in inspiring and exciting the world, its aim is to contribute to a better world for all people with a disability. The objective of this paper is, therefore, firstly to outline some of the reasons why the world might need to be made better for people with disabilities. It will then look at some of the ways the Paralympic Games have contributed to this process since their inception as the Stoke Mandeville Games in the late 1940s. Overall, the objective of this paper is to highlight the ways in which disability sport and the Paralympic Games, in particular, have helped to break down some of the perceptual barriers that exist amongst non-disabled members of society regarding people with disabilities, thus promoting greater inclusion of people with disabilities and allowing them to live in more peaceful coexistence with their peers.

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