Games 1992, Barcelona
1992 Paralympics was to be the largest showcase ever of elite
disability sport. The Organizing Committee of the Barcelona
Olympic Games (COOB) was concerned that the large number of
Paralympic competitions might reduce the credibility of the
Games built up by increasingly superior athletic performances.
Consequently, the Organizing Committee reduced the number of
athletes by setting strict rules and regulations. This caused
some controversy, but it also simplified and raised the level of
competition, and allowed athletes with different disabilities to
participate in the same events.
3,000 athletes and 1,000 coaches, trainers, officials and
managers were housed in the Olympic village. The village was
accessible to all athletes and had medical facilities at each
venue. Initially, funding for the 1992 Paralympics was limited,
but the sum grew with contributions from the Spanish National
Organization for the Blind (ONCE) foundation.
opening ceremony on 3 September in the Montjuic Olympic Stadium
was attended by 65,000 spectators and watched by millions of
television viewers. Almost 90 delegations took part in the
parade. Support was reinforced by the presence of Juan Antonio
Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC), King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, and Mayor
Pasquel Maragall, who was highly supportive of the Games.
12 days of competition in 15 sports, more than 1.5 million
spectators attended various events and millions more watched the
competitions daily over television. A total of 3,020 athletes
from 82 countries were fielded, with about 50 per cent of them
competing in athletics and swimming. Some 487 events were held,
with 279 world records set and 431 gold medals won. Wheelchair
tennis, a demonstration event at Seoul 1988, became an official
performances came from athletes in all four disability groups.
Visually impaired swimmer Trischa Zorn of the US garnered an
impressive 10 gold and 2 silver medals. John Morgan and Bart
Dodson of the US won all eight medals in their swimming and
athletic events respectively, while team mate Elizabeth Scott
took seven golds in swimming.
basketball and volleyball competitions were played before
capacity crowds. In wheelchair basketball, the Canadian
womenís team won the gold, beating the US 35-26 in the final.
Iran, the favorite among the 12 teams in the sitting event for
volleyball, prevailed over a strong Dutch team 3-1 to take the
gold. The standing event was won by defending Paralympic
champions Germany 3-0 over Poland. The menís wheelchair
marathon provided a thrilling finish for the 65,000 spectators
in the Olympic Stadium when Heinz Frei of Switzerland outlasted
a field of 196 competitors to cross the finish line in a time of
1:30 hours. Connie Hansen of Denmark took an early lead in the
womenís wheelchair marathon and also the gold in 1:42.48
hours. A world-class performance came in the 100m dash for
single-arm amputees when Ajibola Adeoye of Nigeria finished in
10.72 seconds. Hypothetically, with the use of two unimpaired
arms, Adeoye could have ran in 10.05 seconds, a time that would
have placed him fourth in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
closing ceremony on 14 September in the Olympic Stadium brought
a spectacular end to one of the finest Games in the history of
ICC-auspiced Paralympic Games for athletes with an intellectual
disability was also held in Madrid shortly after the Barcelona