The Paralympic sports comprise all the sports contested in the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. As of 2012, the Summer Paralympics include 21 sports and about 500 events, and the Winter Paralympics include 5 sports and disciplines and about 64 events. The number and kinds of events may change from one Paralympiad to another.
The Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event for athletes with physical disabilities. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy. Paralympic sports refers to organized competitive sporting activities as part of the global Paralympic movement. These sports are organized and run under the supervision of the International Paralympic Committee and other international sports federations.
Organized sport for persons with physical disabilities developed out of rehabilitation programs. Following World War II, in response to the needs of large numbers of injured ex-service members and civilians, sport was introduced as a key part of rehabilitation. Sport for rehabilitation grew into recreational sport and then into competitive sport. The pioneer of this approach was Ludwig Guttmann of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. In 1948, while the Olympic Games were being held in London, England, he organized a sports competition for wheelchair athletes at Stoke Mandeville. This was the origin of the Stoke Mandeville Games, which evolved into the modern Paralympic Games.