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The objective of classification is to unite athletes of one sport in groups according to their functional abilities in order to arrive at comparable performances and to assure fair and exciting competitions. 

Similar to Judo, Boxing or Powerlifting in Olympic competitions, where athletes compete in different classes according to their weight, Paralympic athletes are united in classes according to their specific disabilities and their grade of functional ability. 

Classification is carried out by trained and certified classifiers. Allocation to a sports class is the result of many different processes: physical and technical tests, as well as examination and observation both in and out of the competition. Allocation to a sports class is never final, changes can occur several times during an athlete’s career.

Here are  the different disability groups:

  • athletes with amputations or similar functional disabilities

  • athletes with cerebral palsy or similar functional disabilities

  • athletes with a visual impairment

  • athletes with spinal cord injuries or similar functional disabilities, using a wheelchair

  • athletes with an intellectual disability

Paralympic summer sports

Paralympic winter sports

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