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Groups for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Wheelchair Basketball Revealed

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Paralympic Games 2024

The stage is set for an exhilarating Wheelchair Basketball competition at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. On Friday, June 14, 2024, at the iconic Stade Charléty during the Paris Handisport Open, the Fédération Française Handisport hosted the highly anticipated group draw. This event has sparked excitement among athletes and fans worldwide as the world’s top teams prepare to vie for Paralympic glory in Paris.

Women’s Competition

The women’s competition promises intense matchups and high stakes as the teams are divided into two formidable groups.

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Group A features:

  • Great Britain
  • China
  • Canada
  • Spain

This group ensures a competitive and exciting series of matches, with each team bringing their unique strengths and strategies to the court.

Group B includes:

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  • Netherlands (World and Paralympic Champions)
  • Japan
  • USA
  • Germany

Group B is expected to be equally compelling, showcasing a blend of tactical prowess and athletic excellence. The reigning champions, the Netherlands, will face stiff competition from their group rivals.

Men’s Competition

The men’s competition is equally thrilling, with top-tier teams divided into two dynamic groups.

Group A consists of:

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  • Canada
  • Great Britain (European Champions)
  • Germany
  • France (Hosts)

This group features a mix of European powerhouses and Paralympic veterans, promising intense and high-caliber games. The host nation, France, will be eager to make a strong showing on home soil.

Group B comprises:

  • USA (Defending Champions)
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Australia

Group B is a showcase of defending champions and other strong contenders, ensuring a series of nail-biting encounters as these teams battle for supremacy.

Anticipation Builds

As the teams gear up for the Games, fans from around the globe are eagerly awaiting the thrilling competition set to unfold in Paris. The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games promise to be a spectacular showcase of athleticism, determination, and the unyielding spirit of the athletes.

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Stay tuned for the schedule and more detailed coverage as we approach the Games. The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are set to deliver unforgettable moments and inspire millions worldwide.

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Life, struggles, and triumphs of Jessica Long

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Born in Siberia, Russia, Jessica Long faced an uphill battle from the start. Fibular hemimelia, a rare condition affecting her leg development, presented an immense challenge during her childhood. 

Jessica’s young mother, overwhelmed by the situation, made the difficult decision to place her in an orphanage. But hope would later arrive for 13-month-old Jessica, when Beth and Steve Long, a couple from Baltimore, Maryland, adopted her.

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Years later, Jessica found herself growing up in a new home, and she soon embraced life in America through exploring various sports, including gymnastics, ice skating, rock climbing, and even trampolines.

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Amidst difficulties, Jessica persevered. This resilience, coupled with her unwavering determination, led her to the pool. It was in the water that Jessica truly found her calling.

The path wasn’t without roadblocks. However, her inherent strength and unwavering spirit propelled her forward. Soon enough, Jessica was recognized as Maryland’s Female Swimmer of the Year with a Disability.

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At the young age of 12, Jessica’s competitive career reached a defining moment at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. Having only honed her skills for two years, she defied expectations and stunned the world by claiming three gold medals. This accomplishment, even surpassing the aspirations of swimming legend Michael Phelps (with whom she would later train for Rio 2016), and transformed Jessica as a force to be reckoned with.

Jessica’s journey has not been solely about medals. Her 23 gold medals for Team USA made her one of the most decorated international athletes. However, beyond the accolades, she has transcended her victory to become a symbol of inspiration for future generations.

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“The only disability in life is a negative attitude”, she often voiced.

Jessica has since overcome her physical limitations and become resilient enough to chase her dreams, no matter the obstacles. Her achievements stand as a powerful reminder that disability isn’t the end of life. With an unwavering determination and a positive outlook, persons with disabilities can also become great and influential people across the world.

By: Yahuza Bawage

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Emotions, Victories, and Overcoming: The Unforgettable Moments of the Paralympic Games

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paralympics

On August 28, the opening ceremony of the Paris Paralympic Games will commence. This event celebrates the skill, perseverance, and passion of athletes with disabilities. All the athletes are currently immersed in rigorous preparation, honing their abilities and mindset to face the challenges that lie ahead. But before looking toward the future, it is essential to reminisce about the most remarkable moments that have left an indelible mark on the history of these games.

Brazil remains undefeated

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Paralympic Games

The Brazilian team celebrating their last gold medal/  OIS/Joel Marklund

Football-5, also known as blind football, made its Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics. This sport is specifically designed for totally blind athletes (B1 classification) who use a sonorous ball. It combines elements of coordination, skill, explosive speed, and teamwork. Brazil’s national team has set a remarkable precedent in this sport, having never lost in any of the occasions it has participated in, securing gold medals in all the Paralympic Games they’ve attended.

Zheng Tao: The Armless Swimmer Who Broke All Records

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Paralympic Games

Compilation of photos of Zheng Tao at the Paralympic Games/ Dean Mouhtaropoulos, Adam Pretty, John Walton: Source: UGC 

Undoubtedly, determination and passion can overcome any obstacle. Tao Zheng, the Chinese swimmer without arms, is an inspiring example of perseverance and remarkable achievements. In the 2012 London Olympics, he not only won the gold medal in the 100m backstroke S6, but also set a new world record, completing the feat in 1 minute, 13 seconds, and 56 milliseconds.

Despite losing his arms in an electrical accident as a child, Tao Zheng has shown that there are no insurmountable limits. His story has inspired thousands of people, and in the Rio Olympics, he not only defended his gold medal, but also surpassed his own world record. A true example of determination, courage, and triumph.

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Trischa Zorn, the most decorated Paralympic athlete

Paralympic Games

Trischa Zorn The most decorated Paralympic athlete in history with 55 medals, 41 of them gold/ Getty Images

In the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games, one athlete stood out above the rest: Trischa Zorn, an American swimmer who set a precedent by winning 10 gold medals and 2 silver medals, an unprecedented achievement. Zorn was born on June 1, 1964, in Orange, California. Her congenital eye condition, called aniridia, affects one in every 100,000 people and is characterized by ocular malformations, such as partial or total lack of iris in both eyes and extreme photophobia. Despite these challenges, Trischa not only broke records but also participated in seven Paralympic Games, earning a total of 55 medals: 41 golds, 9 silvers, and 5 bronzes.

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Her legacy is unparalleled, which is why her name has been inscribed in the Paralympic Hall of Fame since 2012. Additionally, the United States Swimming Federation created an award in her honor to recognize the best disabled female swimmers each year.

Birth of a Legend: Beatrice Vio

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Paralympic Games

Beatrice Vio’s celebration upon winning her latest gold medal/ Reuters

Bebe Vio, the Italian Paralympic fencer, has left an indelible mark on the history of sports. Despite having no arms or legs, her determination and passion led her to win two consecutive gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

From a young age, Bebe showed interest in fencing. However, at the age of 11, she contracted meningitis, which kept her hospitalized for a hundred days. Even though she lost her limbs, her indomitable spirit remained unbroken. At 16, she participated in the 2013 World Championships, achieving an impressive tenth place in the foil category B. But this was just the beginning.

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Two years later, her goal was not merely to compete in the world championships but to win. And she did just that. Since her debut in the Olympics, Bebe has accumulated victories, fame, and followers, refusing to let anyone take away her gold medal. Her story has inspired thousands of children and will continue to inspire in the games to come.

By: Álvaro Lago

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Starbucks and its commitment to accessibility: Creating inclusive spaces for everyone

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Remarkable Journey: Don Elgin’s Saga as a Three-Time Australian Paralympian

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Remarkable Journey

The remarkable journey of Don Elgin is truly inspiring. According to three-time Paralympian Don Elgin, life is about simply getting on with it. This is exactly what he does and how he does it! Don’s “life mantra” is to give your all to the things that matter and that you enjoy. That is true in his case.

His career, his sport, his family, and the chance to encourage others to live purposefully despite challenges in life.
Don Elgin defied the odds from birth, born without a left thumb, lower leg, and fused fingers. Despite undergoing 25 surgeries, including open heart surgery at three, he transformed into a sporty adolescent. Rising above his challenges, Don evolved into an elite athlete, showcasing remarkable physical prowess.

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Remarkable Journey
Three-time paralympian

Don credits the success of his remarkable journey to parents who fostered a positive attitude, emphasizing strengths over physical flaws. He grew up in the country of Victoria, where he played Aussie Rules, swam, and lived an active lifestyle. Sport gave him a place to compete, have fun, and be a “normal” guy. However, it quickly became clear that Don was far more than average; he was exceptional. Don won gold in the 4×100-meter relay at the 1994 IPC World Championships in Berlin. He then switched to the pentathlon, marking a pivotal moment in his career.

His great sporting passion became the pentathlon. Don secured a spot on the Australian team for the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, finishing fourth with support from a scholarship from the Victorian Institute of Sport. Four years later, he went one better, winning bronze medals in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004. Don is still competing and aiming for his fourth consecutive spot on the Australian team in Beijing in 2008.

Beyond sport, being an amputee has given Don a different attitude to life, which is summed up when he says, “I knew I’d been given the short end of the stick physically, but I never wanted it to get in the way of living a great life.” From there, he went on to help many others in similar situations. Anyone who saw his interview on Andrew Denton’s “Enough Rope” program would understand how important it is to him to help others who have suffered the trauma of losing a leg or limbs.

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Don receives generous sponsorship for his athletic endeavors and understands that it is rarely a remarkable journey that can be undertaken alone. He devotes much of his time to assisting people in coping with and adapting to a changed physical reality, always spreading the message, “Don’t be afraid to try, even if you think you won’t succeed.” You’ll get it if you want it badly enough. Always strive to be the best you can be.

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