Olympic Day was made back in 1948 and designed to recognize and rebirth of the Olympics. The Olympic Games first began in 1896, and changed to Olympic Day to strive for inclusivity. In the last couple of years, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee changed the name of Olympic Day to Olympic and Paralympic Day to acknowledge the importance and shine a light on the Paralympics. It has been a long time coming, and the expectation is this is just the beginning of how the Olympics and Paralympics will intersect.
How The Olympics And Paralympics Intersect
Just because an athlete competes in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they are less of an athlete than someone who doesn’t. The Paralympics have slowly begun intersecting with the Olympics since 1960 when Rome hosted the Paralympics and the Olympics in the same year and was the first city to do so. Although the Paralympics and the Olympics are two different entities, they have intersected in many ways throughout the years and will continue to become even closer.
U.S. Paralympians And Olympians Often Train Together
Having a physical disability hasn’t stopped many Paralympic athletes from training with other Olympic athletes. Two of the most notable and decorated Paralympic and Olympic athletes, Michael Phelps and Jessica Long, have trained together in the past. The respect these athletes have for one another is strong behind the scenes, and they look past a physical disability and focus on training to win Olympic and Paralympic medals. In the cases of Phelps and Long, they have combined to win a total of 51 medals from their respective events.
The Olympics And Paralympics Are More Inclusive Than Ever Before
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have taken strides to make both entities inclusive of one another. Instead of feeling like two separate entities, they are becoming closer to identifying as one “Team USA.” The Committee has decided to increase the Paralympic payouts for winning medals significantly, starting with the Tokyo Games this year. Paralympians will now receive the same prize money as Olympians for the medals they receive.
Television coverage of the Paralympic Games is expected to increase this year and going forward. It may be worth your time to watch these amazing athletes compete at high levels despite the physical disability they have to overcome. Our team at Next Day Access will be tuned in, so contact us if you’d like to talk Olympics and Paralympics with us.