Top 5 Facts: Paralympics

Copyright X2 Images, Ossur

The first Paralympic Games was held in 1948 at the same time as the Summer Olympics in London, UK. Initially, only a small band of British World War II veterans took part.

The current 400m world track record is held by South African ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius, who clocked a rapid 47.04 seconds earlier this year – beating his earlier 2008 gold medal winning time of 47.49. He runs using the Flex-Foot Cheetah blades in the image above.

The first Winter Paralympic Games were held in Sweden in 1976. They were the first Games to feature athletes other than those wheelchair-bound. Now the games allow competitors with a broad array of disabilities to take part.

The Paralympic Games has been subjected to numerous cheating scandals since it was launched. Competitors have been found guilty of steroid use, autonomic dysreflexia and actually being able-bodied

Paralympian Trischa Zorn is the most decorated competitor in the history of the Games. From 1980 to 2004 she won a total of 55 medals, 41 of which are gold, in blind swimming events