All you need to know about the Paralympics

A 2024 Paralympics gold medal

The medals for the Paralympics feature braille on one side [Reuters]

We’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about this summer’s Paralympics.

Paris will host the Paralympics for the first time in 2024.

About 4,400 athletes from around the world will take part in 22 sports, cheered on by crowds again after the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021 were held behind closed doors.

When are the Paralympics?

The Paralympics will begin with the opening ceremony on 28 August.

It will be held outside a stadium for the first time, and athletes will parade by some of Paris’ most iconic landmarks, located along the route between the Champs-Elysees and the Place de la Concorde.

Spectators can watch along the route before the official parade and formalities take place in front of ticket-holders at the Place de la Concorde.

A total of 22 gold medals will be decided on the opening day of competition on 29 August.

The final day on 8 September will feature medal events in wheelchair basketball, Para-powerlifting, Para-canoe and wheelchair marathons as well as the closing ceremony.

Which venues are being used for the Paralympics?

Many of the venues being used at the Olympics will also stage Paralympic events.

Wheelchair tennis will be at Roland Garros, the picturesque Chateau de Versailles garden will be the venue for the Para-equestrian events, and the Stade de France will host the Para-athletics programme.

The Grand Palais, normally a venue for art and sport events, will host wheelchair fencing and Para-taekwondo, while the blind football competition will be in a specially built stadium at the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower.

The Para-triathletes will compete in the centre of Paris, with the swim leg due to take place in the River Seine.

How can I watch the Paralympics?

Channel 4 will show the Games in the UK. There will also be extensive coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website.

Which sports feature at the Paralympics?

There are 22 sports in the Paralympic programme:

  • Blind football

  • Boccia

  • Goalball

  • Para-archery

  • Para-athletics

  • Para-badminton

  • Para-canoe

  • Para-cycling

  • Para-equestrian

  • Para-judo

  • Para-powerlifting

  • Para-rowing

  • Para-swimming

  • Para-table tennis

  • Para-taekwondo

  • Para-triathlon

  • Para-shooting

  • Sitting volleyball

  • Wheelchair basketball

  • Wheelchair fencing

  • Wheelchair rugby

  • Wheelchair tennis

Which new sports are at the Paralympics?

Unlike the past two editions of the Games, where Para-triathlon and Para-canoe (Rio) and Para-taekwondo and Para-badminton (Tokyo) made their debuts, no new sports are included in the Paris programme.

However, the badminton and taekwondo programmes have been expanded and there are also a record number of medal events for women.

How many gold medals will be won?

A total of 549 gold medals will be up for grabs.

Who is competing for ParalympicsGB and how many medals could they win?

ParalympicsGB will compete in 19 sports in Paris, having failed to qualify in blind football, goalball and sitting volleyball. The GB team is expected to feature about 220 athletes.

In Tokyo, Britain finished second in the medal table behind China with 124 medals, including 41 golds.

Can athletes from Russia and Belarus compete at Paris Paralympics?

Athletes from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to compete at the Games as neutrals.

Both nations have been suspended from Paralympic competition since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. At the following month’s Winter Paralympics in Beijing, competitors from Russia and Belarus were not allowed to take part as neutrals after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was criticised for originally saying they could.

In September 2023 the IPC voted to lift the full ban and partially suspend the national Paralympic committees of Russia and Belarus. That decision was criticised by some international federations, including ParalympicsGB.

Russian athletes were barred from the 2016 Rio Paralympics over historic doping allegations before athletes were able to compete under a neutral flag and using the initials of the Russian Paralympic Committee at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang and Tokyo 2020.

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