Also known as adaptive sports or para sports, para-athletics refers to athletic activities specifically designed for individuals who have physical and visual impairments and/or disabilities. There are a wide range of sports that fall under the umbrella of para-athletics, including (but not limited to) wheelchair racing, paratriathlon, handcycling, para-swimming, and more. Para-athletes are classified based on their impairment and compete against other athletes with similar levels of impairments.
In recent years, para-athletics has been gaining more widespread popularity and attention. The first official para-athletics event took place in 1952 and then the first Paralympic Games was held in 1960 with 10 countries participating in 25 different medal events. In the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, athletes from 155 countries competed in 167 different medal events.
A para-athlete is an athlete with a bodily difference, impairment, or disability that makes them eligible to compete in para-athletics. Para-athletes are grouped or classified by gender and then by the degree of activity limitation resulting from their impairment. Classification is the cornerstone of para-athletics and the Paralympic Movement, as it determines which athletes are eligible to compete in a sport and how athletes are grouped together for competition.
Para-athletics emphasizes inclusivity, competition, community, and personal growth. At Full Circle Endurance, we do not treat para-athletes any differently than able-bodied athletes, but we know and understand the differences that para-athletes face when participating in or competing in endurance sports. We will not limit or label you by your physical ability; we will work with you and your determination to reach any and all goals you set for yourself.
Coach Laura Henry has been a USA Triathlon Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach since 2018. She has designed individualized training for para-athletes with a wide variety of impairments that has helped them successfully train for endurance sports and reach their goals, up to and including standing on the top of National Championship podiums. In addition, she has coached at Talent Identification Camps for USA Triathlon at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado and has worked with Team Semper Fi and Dare2Tri to provide training camps for para-athletes of all ability levels, from beginner to elite.
All of Full Circle Endurance’s Coaching Services are appropriate for para-athletes. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals, please Contact Us.
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