Last week was the week of disabled people. Sports is one of several areas where disabled people are strongly active. Disabled sports are improving in the whole world and we can tell this by looking at the increasing interest in Paralympics. After Turkey participated in Beijing in 2008 with 16 athletes, this figure increased to 69 in London 2012. 79 Turkish athletes participated in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, including 49 members of the Physically Disabled Federation, 29 members of the Visually Impaired Federation and one member of the Special Athletes Sports Federation. Let's take a look at its relatively young history to get to know disabled sports better.
1911- The first known tournament for disabled athletes was held in the USA in 1911, under the name “Injured Olympics”
1924- The Deaf, which has the longest history of tournaments among disabled sports, was first held in Paris a few weeks after the 1924 Paris Olympics under the name of the International Silent Games. These competitions have been known as Deaflympics since 2001 and are regularly organized once in 4 years except during the 2nd World War.
1948- The first official organization of disabled sports was held in 1948 among patients treated for spinal cord injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and named “Guttman Games”
1960- The first Paralympic Summer Games were held in Rome in 1960 with the participation of 400 athletes from 23 countries and have been held in the same year as the Summer Olympics ever since. In the first games, only wheelchair athletes took part(Wheelchair limitation was canceled in 1976). The Games got their name (Paralympics) from the combination of the words "Paraplegic" and "Olympic".
2001- With the agreement signed by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, it became official that the Olympic Summer Games and Paralympic Summer Games will be held in the same city and using the same facilities.
Disabled Sports History In Turkey
1990- Turkish Disabled Sports Federation was established under the General Directorate of Youth Sports.
1997- The federation where the activities of the physically, mentally, hearing, and visually impaired are carried out changed its name to the Turkish Disabled Sports Federation.
2000- With the dissolution of the Federation, four separate federations were created: Sports Federation for the Visually Impaired, Sports Federation for the Physically Handicapped, Sports Federation for the Hearing Impaired, and Special Athletes Sports Federation (formerly known as the Mentally Handicapped Sports Federation).
Disabled Sports Being Played in Turkey
Athletics, football, futsal, goalball, weightlifting, judo, chess, swimming, amputee football, wheelchair basketball, shooting, arm wrestling, sailing, wheelchair tennis, badminton, seated volleyball, table tennis, weightlifting, boccia, skiing, wheelchair dance, wheelchair curling, wheelchair fencing, canoeing, taekwondo, bowling, wrestling, beach volleyball, golf, orienteering.
Some Successful Turkish Athletes
Sümeyye Boyacı(Swimmer), Beytullah Eroğlu(Swimmer), Nazmiye Muratlı(Weightlifting), Filiznur İmer(Gymnastics) and more.