1992, Madrid


The Madrid 1992 Paralympic Games, held 15-22 September immediately after the Barcelona Paralympic Games, were organised exclusively for athletes with an intellectual disability. Although the ICC (the forerunner of the International Paralympic Committee) had sanctioned the participation of athletes with an intellectual disability in the Barcelona Games, resistance within the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF) and behind-the-scenes political agendas that failed to recognise the legitimacy of athletes with an intellectual disability within the Paralympic movement prevented their inclusion at Barcelona. The ICC then sanctioned a separate ‘Games under the Paralympic Flag’. During the week-long event in Madrid, 1,600 athletes from 75 countries competed. Despite its official sanction at the time and the use of the ‘Paralympic’ name for the event, the IPC currently does not officially recognise the Games or the competing athletes as Paralympians.

Unique/special features:
Although they were prevented from participating in the 1992 Barcelona Games, athletes with an intellectual disability competed for the first time under the Paralympic umbrella in Madrid. Four years later, in Atlanta, the first events for athletes with an intellectual disability were conducted within the ‘mainstream’ Paralympic Games.

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