U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with physical disabilities.
Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through education, sports programs and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities and government agencies, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people with physical and visual disabilities every day.
Addressing an Urgent Need
Today, there are more than 21 million Americans with a physical disability. In the past few years, thousands of military personnel have sustained serious injuries during active duty. Research shows that daily physical activity enhances not only and individual's self-esteem and peer relationships, it also results in increased achievement, better overall health, and higher quality of life. However, despite these findings, most individuals with physical disabilities do not have the opportunity to participate in any regular sports activity.
U.S. Paralympics is working hard to address this important national issue.
Download the U.S. Paralympics brochure (PDF)
U.S. Paralympics operates programs in three key areas:
U.S. Paralympics manages extensive outreach initiatives, connecting with individuals with physical disabilities directly and supporting Paralympic organizations with program development. Increasing the availability of Paralympic sport programming for Americans with physical disabilities across the country is a key goal of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Through partnerships with existing organizations, as well as the development of new programs, the U.S. Olympic Committee's Paralympic Division is targeting 250 Paralympic Sport Clubs in American cities by 2012. Find a club in your community.
USOC Paralympic Military Program
The Paralympic movement was founded through a rehabilitation program developed for wounded World War II veterans. Returning to its roots, the Paralympic Military Program provides rehabilitation support and mentoring to American servicemen and women who have sustained physical injuries. Veterans are introduced to Paralympic sport techniques and opportunities through clinics and camps. They are also connected with ongoing Paralympic sports programs in their hometowns. The program is not just about sports; it is also about attitude, comaraderie and promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
Elite Athlete & Team Support
U.S. Paralympics lead the preparation and selection of national Paralympic teams for 24 sports. The athletes represent the U.S. in the Paralympic Games and other international competitions.