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Athletics events have been a part of the Paralympic program since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960. Events include track, throwing, jumping and the marathon.

The rules of Paralympic track and field are almost identical to those of its non-disabled counterpart. Certain allowances are made to accommodate certain disabilities. For example, the blind and more severely visually impaired runners compete with guide runners, who are often attached by the wrist with a tether to the runner. More information on IPC rules can be found by visiting the IPC Athletics website.

Paralympic track and field competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as dwarfism, amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. 

How Do I Become a Paralympian?

IPC Introduction to Para Sport

Paralympic Track and Field Video

Find a local program in your community - visit the Paralympic Resource Network.

High School track and field opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities

A number of states now have inclusion rules which will allow athletes with a physically disability to participate and score points for their team at high school regional and state finals/championships. The states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Scoring events are offered for certain track events and field events.

For more information, please contact the individual state's high school sports association. Examples of inclusion can be found by visiting the Coaches Education page.