International Paralympic Committee
Internationales Paralympisches Komitee
Formation22 September 1989; 34 years ago (1989-09-22)
TypeSports federation
HeadquartersBonn, Germany
183 National Paralympic Committees (September 2023)
Official language
English, French, German, and the host country's official language when necessary
Brazil Andrew Parsons
Vice President
New Zealand Duane Kale Edit this at Wikidata[1]
Anthem: Paralympic Anthem

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC; German: Internationales Paralympisches Komitee) is an international non-profit organisation and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games and functions as the international federation for nine sports. Founded on 22 September 1989 in Düsseldorf, West Germany, its mission is to "enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world". Furthermore, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values and to create sport opportunities for all persons with a disability, from beginner to elite level.

The IPC has a democratic constitution and structure and is composed of representatives from 183 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs),[2] four international organizations of sport for the disabled (IOSDs) and five regional organizations.[a] The IPC's headquarters is located in Bonn, Germany.


On the basis of being able to organize the Paralympic Games more efficiently and to give the Paralympic movement one voice, the four international organizations of sports for the disabled, founded the International Co-ordination Committee of World Sports Organizations for the Disabled (ICC) in 1982. In the upcoming years, other organizations joined and the need for a democratically guided organization emerged, demanded by the nations participating in the Paralympic Movement. They desired a democratic structure, to improve national and regional representation, which led to the foundation of the IPC as it is known today. The 1994 Winter Paralympics, Norway, were the first to be organized by the IPC.

The IPC functions as an umbrella organization, representing several sports and disabilities, in contrast to other international sports organizations for athletes with a disability, which are predominantly limited to a single sport or disability (as well as the International Olympic Committee, who relies on separate member sanctioning bodies representing each Olympic sport).

A fifteen-member Governing Board oversees the IPC between meetings of the General Assembly. Robert D. Steadward became the first President in 1989. Since 2017, Andrew Parsons is President of the IPC.


The International Paralympic Committee has had three presidents to date. Its founding president, who presided it from 1989 to 2001, was the Canadian Robert Steadward, who had previously founded the Canadian Sports Fund for the Physically Disabled.[1] He was succeeded in 2001 by Philip Craven, a British Paralympian and former President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, who served as president until 2017. Craven was succeeded by Brazil's Andrew Parsons, IPC Vice President from 2013 to 2017 and a former President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.[3]

Image Name Country Term
Robert Steadward  Canada 1989–2001
Sir Philip Craven  United Kingdom 2001–2017
Andrew Parsons  Brazil 2017–

Governing Board

IPC headquarters in Bonn

The IPC Governing Board consists of 14 members, of which 12 are elected at the General Assembly, including the President and Vice President. The most recent election for the Governing Board was held on 12 December 2021:[3]

The IPC Athletes' Council Chairperson, Jitske Visser, and IPC Athletes' Council First Vice Chairperson, Josh Dueck, also have voting rights on the board.

IPC Honorary Board

The IPC has an honorary board of distinguished individuals who support the IPC's goals and use their profile to raise funds and awareness for its work.[4]

Current honorary board members are:


This article is in list format but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this article, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (April 2019)

Chronology of milestones in the development of the International Paralympic Committee and the Summer and Winter Paralympics.

Year Event
1944 Dr Ludwig Guttmann established the Spinal Injuries Centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.[5][6]
1948 On 29 July, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, Dr Ludwig Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games, a milestone in Paralympics history. They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery[7]
1952 Dutch ex-servicemen travelled to England to compete against British athletes and this led to the establishment of the International Stoke Mandeville Games.[7]
1955 International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS) officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).[6]
1960 18 – 25 September – Rome Summer Paralympics – 400 athletes from 23 countries; 57 events in 8 sports.[8] These Games became known as the 1st Summer Paralympic Games and were the 9th International Stoke Mandeville Games. The Games followed the Rome Olympics and used same venues.
1960 International Stoke Mandeville Games Committee (ISMGC) established.[6]
1962 International Sports Organisation for the Disabled (IOSD) was established to assist visually impaired, amputees, persons with cerebral palsy and paraplegics who were not eligible to compete at the International Stoke Mandeville Games.[7]
1964 3 – 12 November – Tokyo Summer Paralympics – 375 athletes from 21 countries; 144 events in 9 sports. Weightlifting added to the program.[8] Opening ceremony held in front of 5,000 spectators.[9]
1968 4–13 November – Tel Aviv Summer Paralympics – 750 athletes from 29 countries; 181 events in 10 sports.[8] New sports included lawn bowls, women's basketball and Men's 100m wheelchair race.
1972 2 – 11 August – Heidelberg Summer Paralympics – 984 athletes from 43 countries; 1987 events in 10 sports.[8] Events for quadriplegic added to program for the first time.[8] Demonstration events for visually impaired athletes.[8] Heidelberg was used as the Olympic Village in Munich was unavailable as it was converted into private apartments.[9]
1976 3–11 August – Toronto Summer Paralympics – 1657 athletes from 38 countries; 447 events in 13 sports.[8] Amputee and vision impaired athletes competed for the first time.[5][6] goalball, shooting and standing volleyball added to program.[8] Specialized racing wheelchairs used for the first time.[8]
1976 21–28 February – Örnsköldsvik Winter Paralympics – 198 athletes from 16 countries; 53 events in 2 sports. First Winter Paralympics. Games demonstrated innovations in ski equipment design with 'three-track skiing' using crutches. Demonstration event was sledge racing.[10]
1976 UNESCO Conference established the right for people with a disability to participate in sport and physical education.[6]
1980 21–30 June – Arnhem Summer Paralympics – 1973 athletes from 42 countries; 489 events in 12 sports. Sitting volleyball added to the program.[8] Moscow declined to host the Games.[9] Cerebral palsy athletes compete for the first time.[5][8] There were 12,000 spectators at the opening ceremony.[9]
1980 1–7 February – Geilo Winter Paralympics – 350 athletes from 18 countries;[10] 63 events in 2 sports. Amputee, visual impairment and les autres compete for the first time at a Winter Games.[10]
1982 International Co-ordination Committee of World Sports Organisations for the Disabled (ICC) was established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to the need for a single governing body to look after disability sport[5][11]
1984 17–30 June (US) / 22 July – 1 August (UK) – Stoke Mandeville/New York Summer Paralympics – 1100 athletes from 41 countries (UK) and 1,800 from 45 countries (USA); 903 events in 18 sports.[8] New York Games were held at the Hofstra University and events were held for amputees, les austres, cerebral palsy and vision impaired athletes. Stoke Mandeville Games were for athletes with a spinal cord disability. It was decided that future Games should be held in one city. boccia, road cycling and football 7-a-side added to program.[8]
1984 14–20 January – Innsbruck Winter Paralympics – 457 athletes from 21 countries;[10] 107 events in 3 sports. Cerebral palsy athletes compete for the first time.[10]
1984 1984 Los Angeles Olympics included Men's 1500m and Women's 800m wheelchair races as demonstration events.
1984 The term Paralympic Games approved by the IOC.[6] It was used in the lead up to the 1988 Seoul Paralympics.[5]
1988 18–24 October – Seoul Summer Paralympics – 3057 athletes from 61 countries; 732 events in 16 sports. The Games utilized Olympic facilities.[8] For the first time short stature athletes competed in the les autres category.[5] Judo was added to the program[8] and Wheelchair tennis was a demonstration sport.
1988 17–24 January – Innsbruck Winter Paralympics – 397 athletes from 22 countries;[10] 96 events in 4 sports. Sit ski events introduced in the sports of alpine and Nordic skiing.[10]
1989 On 22 September, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) replaced the ICC as the governing body of the Paralympic movement with Canadian Robert Steadward as its inaugural President.[12][13]
1990 ISMFG changed its name to International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation (ISMWSF).
1990 IPC agreement with the ICC so that it remained responsible for the Paralympic Games until after the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games.[13]
1992 3–14 September – Barcelona Summer Paralympics – 3001 athletes from 33 countries:[8] 431 events in 16 sports Wheelchair tennis was a medal sport for the first time. IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch attended and endorsed the Games.[6] Inaugural Paralympics for Persons with an Intellectual Disability held in Madrid, Spain immediately after the Games.[8] Final Games organized by ICC.[13]
1992 25 March – 1 April – Tignes/Albertville Winter Paralympics – 475 athletes from 24 countries;[10] 78 events in 3 sports. Biathlon added to the program.[10] Demonstration events held for athletes with an intellectual disability in alpine and cross country skiing.[10] First Winter Games to share Olympic venues.[10]
1992 The Mind, Body and Spirit logo (3 tae-guks) adopted by IPC and used until 2003.[5][13]
1993 IPC established a Sport Science Committee.[6]
1994 10–19 March – Lillehammer Winter Paralympics – 492 athletes from 31 countries;[10] 133 events in 5 sports. First Winter Games held under IPC control and Games aligned to revised Winter Olympic Games four-year schedule. Ice sledge hockey added to the program.[10]
1995 International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS) withdraws from the IPC.[13]
1996 16–25 August – Atlanta Summer Paralympics – 3259 athletes from 104 countries; 508 events in 20 sports. Athletes with an intellectual disability included for the first time at a Summer Games. equestrian and track cycling discipline added to the program[8] and sailing was a demonstration sport. IPC officially hosted the Games for the first time and assumed responsibility for future Games.[6] First Games to attract worldwide sponsorship. 12,000 volunteers assisted with the operation of the Games.[9]
1998 5–14 March – Nagano Winter Paralympics – 571 athletes from 32 countries;[10] 122 events in 4 sports. Athletes with an intellectual disability included for the first time at a Winter Games. With the internet in its infancy, the official website recorded 7.7 million hits during the Games.[9]
1999 IPC moved into what remains its current Headquarters in Bonn, Germany.[11] IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch attended opening.[13]
1999 INAS-FMH changed its name to International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability(INAS-FID).
2000 18–29 October – Sydney Summer Paralympics – 3,881 athletes from 122 countries;[8] 551 events in 20 sports. First Games held in the Southern Hemisphere. Women's events were included in the powerlifting program and wheelchair rugby and sailing were medal sports for the first time.[8] IOC signed a co-operation agreement with IPC to strengthen their relationship.[6][13] Games had comprehensive international television coverage for the first time. Over 340,000 school children attended and were given an insight into Paralympic sport.[9]
2001 Robert Steadward was succeeded by the former British Paralympian Sir Philip Craven after serving three terms as president.[11][13]
2001 On 19 June, IPC and IOC signed an agreement that ensured the practice of "one bid, one city", meaning the same city will host both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.[5][13]
2001 IPC General Assembly suspended athletes with an intellectual disability (ID) from the Paralympic Games due to 69% of athletes who won medals in intellectual disability events at the Sydney Games not have the correct ID verification.[5]
2002 7–16 March – Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics – 416 athletes from 36 countries;[10] 92 events in 5 sports. Worldwide television coverage was secured by the organizers, and there was high demand for tickets.[9]
2003 Sir Philip Craven, IPC President elected as a new IOC member at the 115th IOC Session in Prague, Czech Republic.[6][13]
2003 IPC Governing Board approved the development of a Universal Classification Code.[13]
2003 New Spirit in motion logo (Agitos) adopted by IPC.[5][13]
2003 IPC signs the World Anti-Doping Code and revised its Anti-Doping Code to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code.[6]
2004 17–28 September – Athens Summer Paralympics – 3808 athletes from 135 countries;[8] 517 events in 19 sports. 5-a-side football added to the program.[8] A cumulated global TV audience of 1.8 billion watch the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.[13] Over 3000 journalists covered the Games.[9]
2004 International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWSF) established with the merger of ISMWSF and ISOD.[5]
2005 Paralympic Awards are presented for the first time.[13]
2006 10–19 March – Torino Winter Paralympics – 477 athletes from 39 countries;[10] 58 events in 4 sports. Wheelchair curling made its Games debut.[10] IPC launched ParalympicSport.TV, an online TV channel, during the Games[13] and it attracted nearly 40,000 unique viewers from 105 nations.
2006 IPC's revenue exceeded EUR 5 million for the first time.[13]
2007 IPC Classification Code and International Standards approved at IPC General Assembly meeting held in November.[5][13]
2008 6–17 September – Beijing Summer Paralympics – 3,951 from 146 countries;[8] 472 events in 20 sports. Rowing was added to the program.[8] 3.8 billion throughout the world viewed the Games on television[8] and 3.4 million spectators attended the Games.[9]
2009 IPC General Assembly reinstated athletes with an intellectual disability into the Paralympic Games.[5]
2009 IPC Position Stand – Background and Scientific Principles of Classification in Paralympic Sport passed by IPC Sports Science Committee, Classification Committee and Governing Board in June.[5][13]
2010 12–21 March – Vancouver Winter Paralympics – 502 athletes from 44 countries;[10] 64 events in 5 sports. 230,000 ticket sales, a record for the Games.[10]
2012 29 August – 9 September – London Summer Paralympics – 4,237 athletes from 164 countries; 503 events in 20 sports. Athletes with an intellectual disability return to the Games by competing in athletics, swimming and table tennis.[8]
2012 IPC and IOC signed a new co-operation agreement which increased IOC financial support and guaranteed the Paralympics will be staged in the same city and venues as the Olympics through until 2020.[13]
2012 IPC's revenue exceeded EUR 10 million for the first time.[13]
2012 IPC launched the Agitos Foundation.[13]
2014 7–16 March – Sochi Winter Paralympics – 541 athletes from 45 countries;[10] 72 events in 5 sports. 316,200 tickets were sold, the most ever for Paralympic Winter Games. Para-snowboard added to the program.[10] 316,200 ticket sales, surpassing the record from Vancouver Games.[10]
2016 7–18 September – Rio de Janeiro Summer Paralympics. The first games in Latin America, Paracanoe and paratriathlon added to the program.
30 November – IPC officially rebrands the 10 sports for which it serves as the international federation with the "World Para" mark. At the same time, IPC changes the names of three of these 10 sports:[14]
  • Paralympic shooting becomes "shooting Para sport".
  • Sledge hockey becomes "Para ice hockey".
  • Wheelchair dance sport becomes "Para dance sport".
2017 Philip Craven was succeeded by the Brazilian Andrew Parsons as IPC President after serving four terms.
2018 9–18 March – PyeongChang Winter Paralympics – 569 athletes from 49 countries;[10] 80 events in 6 sports, Snowboarding has been expanded into a separate discipline for 2018, with 10 medal events (in 2014, two medal events in snowboarding were held within the alpine skiing programme). IOC and IPC, signed an agreement that renewed the partnership between the two institutions by 2032.


The IPC publishes The Paralympian three times a year.[15]

In addition, the IPC maintains an active Instagram among other social media channels to share updates.

Paralympic SPORT.TV

The Paralympics and other sport events related to the Paralympic movement are broadcast on ParalympicSportTV, an internet TV channel for Paralympic sports created by the IPC.[16]

Paralympic Hall of Fame

Main article: Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame

Paralympic marketing

The Organizing Committees

See also: Template:OCOG/OCPG

In June 2001, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement that would ensure that the staging of the Paralympic Games is automatically included in the bid for the Olympic Games.[18] The agreement came into effect at the 2008 Paralympic Summer Games in Beijing, and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

However, the Salt Lake 2002 Organizing Committee (SLOC), chose to follow the practice of "one bid, one city" already at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, with one Organizing Committee for both Games, which was followed up by the 2004 Games in Athens and Beijing in 2008.

The agreement was adjusted in 2003. An extension was signed in June 2006.[18] A further extension was signed in 2012, valid until 2020. In March 2018, a historic long-term extension was signed establishing a partnership until 2032.

National Paralympic Committees (NPCs)

Main article: National Paralympic Committee

The NPCs receive financial support for the training and development of Paralympic teams, Paralympic athletes and Paralympic hopefuls.

International Paralympic Sports Federations (IFs)

See also: List of international sport federations § Federations recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

There are 17 international federations recognized by the IPC, and there are three disability specific organizations, while the IPC has served as the international federation for multiple sports.[19][20] As of 2021, the IPC governed Paralympic alpine skiing, athletics, biathlon, cross country skiing, sledge hockey (Para ice hockey), powerlifting, shooting (shooting Para sport), snowboarding, swimming, and wheelchair dancesport (Para dance sport).[21][22]

On 30 November 2016, the IPC rebranded these subcommittees under the new blanket name World Para Sports to separate them from the Paralympics and their identity. It also renamed three sports to align with this new name; Paralympic shooting was renamed to "shooting Para sport" (to reduce confusion with parachuting), wheelchair dancesport became "Para dance sport" (as the committee expressed interest in governing dancesport for other classifications besides wheelchair), and sledge hockey became "Para ice hockey" (for both branding and linguistic reasons). Sports contested in the Summer Paralympics began using the new branding immediately. For winter sports, whose competitive seasons had already started by the announcement, only the world championships were immediately changed to reflect the new branding; the full switchover did not occur until the 2017–18 season.[14]

In December 2021 during its virtual General Assembly, the IPC voted on a mandate to transfer its international governance of Paralympic sports to independent bodies by 2026. A governance review published in October 2019 found that the IPC's governance "created perceptions of conflict of interest, disparity in the application of resources, a sense of unfairness between the IPC Sports and those which are not and confusion about the IPC’s role, all of which is impacting its reputation."[21][22] In July 2022, the IPC transferred governance of skiing and biathlon to the FIS and IBU respectively,[23] and in June 2023 appointed the British Paralympic Association and UK Sport to assist in spinning off World Para Athletics and World Para Swimming as independent federations that would be based in Manchester.[24] Para dance sport was transferred to World Abilitysport (formerly IWAS) in 2024.[25]

World Para Athletics

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Para Athletics Championships, World Para Athletics European Championships and other competitions.

World Para Dance Sport

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Para Dance Sport Championships and other competitions. The rebranding saw the sport renamed from "wheelchair dance sport" to "Para dance sport" due to the IPC's desire to expand the sport beyond wheelchair users.[14]

World Para Ice Hockey

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Para Ice Hockey Championships and other competitions. With the November 2016 rebranding, the official name of the sport was changed from "sledge hockey" to "Para ice hockey". This change was made upon the request of the sport's community, partly due to the word "sledge" having different meanings across languages.[14]

World Para Powerlifting

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Para Powerlifting Championships and other competitions.

World Shooting Para Sport

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Shooting Para Sport Championships and other competitions. The rebranding saw the sport renamed as "shooting Para sport" to avoid possible confusion with parachuting.[14]

World Para Swimming

Supervises and co-ordinates the World Para Swimming Championships and other competitions.

The Paralympic Partner programme

The Paralympic Partner (TOP) sponsorship programme includes the following commercial sponsors of the Paralympic Games.

See also



  1. ^ a b "Robert Steadward, builder" Archived 25 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Canadian Paralympic Committee
  2. ^ "Paralympic family grows to 208 as IPC welcomes five new members". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew Parsons re-elected as IPC President for second term". International Paralympic Committee. 12 December 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Honorary Board". IPC. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Vanlandewijck, Yves (2011). The Paralympic Athlete : Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 3–30. ISBN 9781444334043.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l DePauw, Karen; et al. (2005). Disability sport (2nd ed.). Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics. pp. 277–287.
  7. ^ a b c "Paralympics – History of the movement". International Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Summer Games Overview". International Paralympic Committee website. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ottoblock. "History of the Paralympic Games" (PDF). Channel 4 website. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Winter Games Overview". International Paralympic Committee website. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "The History of the Paralympic Movement". Inside the Games website. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  12. ^ "About Us". International Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "25-year anniversary of the IPC". International Paralympic Committee website. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "The IPC to rebrand the 10 sports it acts as International Federation for" (Press release). International Paralympic Committee. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  15. ^ The Paralympian, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  16. ^ "Paralympic Games". YouTube. 5 September 2021. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  17. ^ "IPC announces 2016 Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame inductees". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b IPC-IOC Co-operation, The official website of the International Paralympic Committee
  19. ^ "International Sport Federations". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  20. ^ Contacts – International Sports Federations (IFs), International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  21. ^ a b "IPC seeking entities interested in taking over Para athletics and Para swimming". 20 July 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  22. ^ a b "IPC to cease acting as international federation for 10 sports by end of 2026". 11 December 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  23. ^ Robarts, Stu (14 July 2022). "FIS and IBU take on governance of Para sports from IPC". Sportcal. Retrieved 24 March 2024.
  24. ^ "Manchester proposed as location for Para athletics and Para swimming governing bodies". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  25. ^ "FAQ in relation to the transfer of Para dance sport to World Abilitysport". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 March 2024.


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