Two New Sports Will Debut in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio

Khadim Boye (SEN) - ParacanoeThe Paralympic Games began in 1948 when Ludwig Guttmann, an England native, decided to organize sporting events for World War II veterans and injured ex-service members, which eventually grew into the global sporting event known today for athletes with disabilities. This year, the 2016 Summer Paralympics will take place in Rio from September 7 to September 18 in Maracana Stadium. This will be the first time that the Olympics and the Paralympics will take place in South America. This year, there will be more than 4,000 athletes representing 176 nations in a total of 528 medal events. As of 2016, the Paralympics will include 22 sports with two new sports debuting in the Games: triathlon and canoe sprint.

The new sports will be contested in Rio’s most beautiful locations. The canoe sprint will take place on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and the triathlon with be staged in Copacabana. These two sports will bring even more excitement to the Paralymics this year. It was decided in 2010 by the International Paralympic Committee to add paracanoe to the roster of Summer Paralympic Games. The paratriathlon sport, however, is governerned by the International Triathlon Union.

At the 2016 Paralympic Games, the triathlon will consist of nearly half a mile (750 m) of swimming, about 12.5 miles (20 km) of cycling, and 5K running stages. The paracanoe spor includes boats such as Kayaks with a double-blade paddle or canoes called Va’as, a type of canoe where the paddler has a second hull as a support float and uses a single-blade paddle instead. In the 2016 Paralympics, Kayaks will be contested.

Paracanoeing and paratriathlons have been around for years, but will finally have their chance for competition in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. There are specific classifications regarding impairments for paracanoeing for both men and women, specifically for Kayaks. Those classes are:

  • Limited or no trunk function or no leg function, and usually require a special seat in the Kayak.
  • Partial truck and leg function, but able to sit upright in the Kayak (but still might need a special backrest), and have limited leg movement while paddling.
  • Complete trunk function and partial leg function, able to sit with trunk in foward flexed position and able to use at least one leg or prosthesis.

Both the paracanoeing and paratrialon competitions are expected to bring an exciting change to the Games as the Paralympics begins to evolve. It will be interesting to see which athletes take home the first wins in these two new paralymic sports.

In addtion to this amazing change for the Paralympic Games, the 2016 Summer Paralympics are expected to leave another lasting legacy: an improvement in accessibily in public areas, public transportation, and ultimately, leave a positive lasting impression on people’s minds towards disabilities.

About the Author: Jeremy is a guest contributor from, specializing in providing ADA compliant pool lifts for pools and spas.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.