Difference Between the Olympics and Paralympics

Many sporting events that occur on a national and worldwide level conduct various indoor and outdoor sports. Some events feature a single game, while others feature multiple games.


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Participants participate in such activities based on their talent and interest, as determined by the eligibility criteria. These sporting events are beneficial for recognizing talents and promoting them.

The Olympics and Paralympics are two different international sporting events.

Both events are popular with the general population and offer a wide range of sports for participants (running, swimming, baseball, and tennis, boxing, and many more).

The Olympics take place every four years, whereas the Paralympics happen every two years.

Olympics vs Paralympics

The difference between the Olympics and the Paralympics is that at the Olympics, any player who meets the event’s requirements, whether normal or specially-abled, is eligible to compete. On the other hand, Paralympics are geared toward athletes with disabilities. Apart from that, the Olympics happen after four years and the Paralympic after two years.

Olympics vs Paralympics

Summer and winter Olympics are held depending on the weather. The first summer Olympics were held in 1896, followed by the winter Olympics two years later.

Talented individuals who excel at a single or many games are eligible to compete if they meet the norms set up by the International Olympics Committee.

Paralympics also happen season-wise (winters and summers). It was founded in 1952 as part of the Stoke Mandeville Games movement, which was initially designed for Dutch veterans.

It is formatted for people who are physically disabled (deaf, dumb, lame, and many other disabilities). In 1960, it got the name, Paralympics.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonOlympicsParalympics
PurposeTo bring out sports talent at the global level.To encourage specially-abled people by bringing their talent out worldwide.
Started inThe first Olympics happened in 1896.It all began in 1960.
Occurrence It occurs after every four years. It occurs after every two years.
FlagIts flag consists of five different colored rings (black, blue, yellow, red, green).Its flag consists of three colors (red, blue, and green).
Governing BodyIt is organized by International Olympic Committee (IOC).It is organized by International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

What are the Olympics?

Previously, the Olympics were known as Olympia and took place in the late 700 BC in Greece. It happened to please Zeus, the (sky god).

Instead of medals and trophies, olive wreaths, a leaf-based crown was awarded back then to the winners.

The Olympics were reintroduced in the 19th century by Baron Pierre de Coubertin (a Frenchman) in 1894.

The Olympic flag, which consists of five different colored rings, was unfurled on the 20th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee.

However, at that time, the relay torch ceremony did not take place before the beginning of the event. This ceremony came into existence in 1928 in Amsterdam (this idea is from Greece).

During the ceremony, famous persons are chosen to carry the flame.

Nearly 200 countries now compete in the Olympics, which are held every four years in a different country. The host countries go to considerable efforts to ensure that this event goes off without a hitch.

The Olympics have been held in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Oceania except for Africa.

The Olympics are held in both the summer and winter seasons and feature roughly 35 sports (wrestling, baseball, swimming, etc.).

Furthermore, disabled people who desire to compete in the Olympics can enroll with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

What are the Paralympics?

The formal name of Paralympics was portmanteau (combination of paraplegic and Olympics). The noun paraplegic refers to a person who has had a spinal injury. Later on, paraplegia ceased to be considered a handicap.

The 9th Mandeville Game was renamed Paralympics in 1960. It was originally designed for Greece’s ex-servicemen. Now, games under this event are open to players with any disability.

Amputees, vision impairments, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are a few disabilities included under Paralympics.

Paralympics also happen in the summer and winter seasons. In 1960, the inaugural summer Paralympics were held, followed by the first winter Paralympics in 1976. Initially, just 16 countries took part in the competition.

The financing collected from the other sports committees and countries generated the most cash in the Paralympics.

Furthermore, the Agitos Foundation came into existence to collect funding on a global scale to support people with special needs.

If a disabled person wishes to compete in the Paralympics, they must contact their country’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC).

Additionally, the International Paralympic Committee’s official website has all of the necessary information for participation (the committee that organizes Paralympic games).

Following a two-year cycle with a different host, the Paralympic Games are currently staged in approximately 160 countries. Its flag consists of three Agitos of blue, green, and red.

Main Differences Between Olympics and Paralympics

  1. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), headquartered in Switzerland, organizes the Olympics. On the other hand, Paralympics are managed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which is headquartered in Germany.
  2. The Olympic Games are an old concept that began in 1896. However, Paralympics started in 1960.
  3. The Olympic flag has five multi-colored circles in its design. On the contrary, the flag of the Paralympics consists of three distinct colored Agitos.
  4. Any player, whether differently-abled or not, is welcome to compete in the Olympics. In contrast, only disabled athletes are allowed to compete in the Paralympics.
  5. The Olympics are affiliated with 200 countries, whereas the Paralympics are participated by roughly 160 countries.
Difference Between the Olympics and Paralympics


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026378631300135X
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19407963.2012.668780

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