Paralympics

The Paralympics section shares stories about disabled athletes and their amazing journey’s to the legendary Paralympics. The Paralympics is the premier battleground for disabled athletes around the world and serves as the global platform for the top athletes to show off their astonishing skills. Just like the Olympics, the Paralympics are divided into summer and winter sports. The summer sports include archery, athletics, boccia, bowls, cycling, equestrian, football, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair dance sport, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. The winter sports showcase alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey, Nordic skiing and wheelchair curling.

A Guide to Wheelchair Fitness

istock_100317675_largeSince the Paralympics are back in full swing in Rio, we thought you might want to feel like a Paralympian yourself! So here’s a few tips on how to work out in a chair! Safety first, though. Talk to your doctor before you try any of these workout tips! Make sure that a loved one or a caregiver is present when exercising, and be sure not to overwork yourself! We don’t want you getting sore or too tired, we just want to get that blood flowing!

Why is exercising in a wheelchair helpful and important? Exercising will result in more flexibility, will strengthen you and your lungs and heart, and provide more mobility overall.

Push-ups in a wheelchair?! How to:

  1. First, lock your wheelchair into place, of course!
  2. Lay your arms on your arm rest.
  3. Now lift! Use your arms and upper body to lift yourself up and off the seat of the chair; stay lifted for as long as you can.
  4. You can lift and rest on repeat!

“Do you even lift?” Lifting weights in a wheelchair:

  1. You can use free weights or dumbbells, whichever is easier for you!
  2. If you don’t have any of those lying around, that’s okay! You don’t even need to rush out to buy them! Just use anything you have around the house that is a little bit heavier, like cans of food or books! Repetition is key!

Ready, set, go! Racing in your wheelchair:

  1. It’s fun, AND it works out your upper body!
  2. You can race other friends in wheelchairs or you can have people run against you! Working out can be FUN!

For those who want tight tummies:

  1. Alright, this one actually involves getting out of your chair and onto a yoga mat.
  2. Cross your legs, grab a weight (dumbbell, Pilates ball, heavy object around the house), and lift it straight above your head.
  3. Slightly rotate your torso back and forth for a period of time or until you’re too sore!

Some more tips on working out:

  • Turn the TV on and out for half the time of your favorite show! Or the whole time you’re watching your favorite show!
  • Make a playlist to listen to while your pumping that iron!

Links to workout videos for those working out in a chair: 

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic 100m Gold Medal Winner

Jonnie Peacock Unseats Oscar Pistorius as World’s Fastest Amputee

Nineteen-year-old Jonnie Peacock became the fastest amputee in the world with a record time of 10.90 seconds, taking the gold medal in the 100m at the 2012 London Paralympics.

Paralympic Gold Runners Oscar Pistorius and Jonnie Peacock

The crowd of over 80,000 people cheered on the British athlete as he took his mark. He put his finger to his mouth to silence them, so he and fellow athletes could concentrate on the race. Just seconds later a new Paralympic champion was born, and the crowd went wild once again.

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

He says, “The British crowd has made the Games come alive; they are absolutely amazing. They were chanting my name before the race started and that was unreal.” However, he adds, “I enjoyed it, but when it’s business time, we’re professional athletes, and you’ve got to be quiet for the set. I thought, I need to quiet them down. I didn’t want to put anyone (the other finalists) off. If you have to tell them to be quiet, you have to tell them to be quiet.”

Around the 60 meter point Peacock says, “I started to think, ‘Oh crap, I’m winning!'”

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

He has stolen the title from Oscar Pistorius. Peacock says he is still coming to terms of the magnitude of his achievement. In good sportsmanship, Pistorius ran straight over to Peacock to congratulate him on his win.

“When the results came up on the board, I just gave Oscar a big hug, and he said to me, ‘I told you you’d do it,” Peacock beams. “I’ve got so much respect for him; he is such a legend in Paralympic sport.”

Paralympian Gold Runners Oscar Pistorius and Jonnie Peacock Hug

Peacock had spent so much time preparing for the Games that he says he didn’t even feel nervous. He says, “I felt so prepared. Everything I had done all year was leading up to last night.”

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Winner

Paralympian Jonnie Peacock Wins Gold Medal 100m

After all the excitement Peacock says, “I got three hours of sleep afterwards, and hopefully later I will have a bit of time to sit down and reflect on the race. I will go through how it went with my coach and have a sit down and a few beers.”

Sources:
thesportreview.com/tsr/2012/09/london-2012-paralympics-jonnie-peacock-interview/
dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2199877/Paralympics-2012-Jonnie-Peacock-hails-noisy-home-crowd.html
worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/07/13725337-uks-peacock-beats-favorite-pistorius-in-battle-of-the-blade-runners

Image sources:
telegraph.co.uk
itv.com
bbc.co.uk
thesun.co.uk
dailymail.co.uk
guardian.co.uk
paralympic.org