Paralympic symbols

The Paralympic symbols are the icons, flags and symbols used by the International Paralympic Committee to promote the Paralympic Games.


The Paralympic motto is "Spirit in Motion". The motto was introduced in 2004 at the Paralympic Games in Athens.[1] The previous motto was "Mind, Body, Spirit", introduced in 1994.[1]

Paralympic symbol


The Paralympic symbol consists of three agitos, coloured red, blue and green, the three colours that are most widely represented in national flags around the world.

The symbol of the Paralympic Games is composed of three "agitos", coloured red, blue, and green, encircling a single point, on a white field. The agito ("I move" in Latin) is a symbol of movement in the shape of an asymmetrical crescent. The Paralympic symbol was created by the Scholz & Friends agency and approved in April 2003.[1][2]

The colours of the agitos with the white background stand for the three colours that are most widely represented in national flags around the world. The three agitos encircle a centre point, to emphasize "the role that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has of bringing athletes from all corners of the world together and enabling them to compete". The shape also symbolises the Paralympic vision "To Enable Paralympic Athletes to Achieve Sporting Excellence and to Inspire and Excite the World".[1][2]

This Paralympic symbol was first used in publications and other products in 2003. Due to limited time before the 2004 Paralympic Summer Games in Athens, the new symbol was not used by participating delegations during the Games. At the 2004 Closing Ceremony however, the flag that was handed over to Beijing had the new symbol.[3] The symbol was first used in a Paralympic emblem at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino.[4]


First Paralympic symbol (1988-1994) used five pa.

The first designated Paralympic logo was created for the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul and based on a traditional Korean decorative component called a pa {Hangul: 파; Hanja: 巴}, two of which make up the taegeuk symbol at the center of the flag of South Korea. The first Paralympic flag used five pa arranged similarly to the Olympic Rings, but not interlocking, and in identical colors to the Olympic rings: blue, black, red, yellow and green.[1][2]

Rejected Paralympic symbol (1991), six pa.

On October 6, 1990, the International Coordinating Committee of World Sports Organizations for the Disabled (ICC) was informed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requested the five-pa symbol be altered — the IOC's marketing department considered it too similar to the Olympic rings.[1][2][5][6][7] A new symbol created for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 1991 included six overlapping pa in a circle. In November 1991, the IPC members voted against the new symbol, retaining the five-pa symbol. However, the IOC made clear that it would refuse further collaboration with the IPC if the five-pa symbol remained in place.[5]

Second Paralympic symbol (1994-2004) used three pa.

In March 1992,[5] the Paralympic symbol was changed to a version utilizing only three pa. This was not fully adopted until after the 1994 Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer, Norway, since the Lillehammer Paralympic Organizing Committee had by then already started a marketing program based on the five-pa version. The three-pa version remained in place from the close of the Lillehammer Games through the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece.[1][2]

Paralympic emblems

Each Paralympic Games has its own Paralympic emblem. The city that hosts the Paralympic Games creates a symbol to represent the event. See Category:Summer Paralympic Games and Category:Winter Paralympic Games for various Paralympic emblems.[8] This design incorporates the Paralympic symbol, the name of the event, and one or more distinctive elements to identify the event.

It is the responsibility of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to approve Paralympic emblems for the Paralympic Games. The Paralympic emblems are used in promotional materials, by sponsors of the Paralympics, and on the uniforms of every Paralympic competitor. All emblems are the property of the IPC.

Picture of the emblem for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.
Floral display in Kew Gardens of the Paralympic symbol during the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.


The Paralympic flag

The Paralympic flag has a white background, with the Paralympic symbol in the centre.

The current Paralympic flag was first flown during the Closing Ceremony of the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.

Flame and torch relay

View of the Paralympic cauldron alight in the night sky at the 2000 Summer Paralympics

Until the 2010 Winter Paralympics, the host country chose the site and the method through which the Paralympic Torch was lit.[17] Since the 2012 Summer Paralympics, the concept of the Paralympic Torch Relay has changed and the Official Paralympic Flame is always created in the Games host city by uniting different regional flames. For London 2012 four regional flames from the national capitals of London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff were brought together in Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, on 29 August 2012 to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. In the future not only flames from regions of the host country will be united, but also other international flames.[18] As such Stoke Mandeville will feature in all future Paralympic Torch Relays with the lighting of the Heritage Flame which will then travel to the host city to join all other flames.[19] During the final 1–2 days the torch follows a linear relay route and, on the day of the Opening Ceremony, the flame reaches the main stadium and is used to light a cauldron situated in a prominent part of the venue to signify the beginning of the Games. Then it is left to burn throughout the Games till the Closing Ceremony, when it is extinguished to signify the end of the Games.

For the first time, on 1 March 2014, Stoke Mandeville ran the first ever Heritage Flame lighting ceremony in advance of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. An Armillary Sphere has been created which will be used at all future Heritage Flame events to create the spark by human endeavor of a wheelchair user. London 2012 paralympian Hannah Cockroft was the first person to create the spark where Caz Walton lit the Sochi Torch and Cauldron, Andy Barlow transferred the flame to Sochi and finally Denise Knibbs lit the Paralympic lantern.[20]


Ian Sharpe's Paralympic medal from Sydney in 2000

The Paralympic medals awarded to winners are another symbol associated with the Paralympic Games. The medals are made of gold-plated silver (commonly described as gold medals), silver, or bronze, and awarded to the top 3 finishers in a particular event.

For each Paralympic Games, the medals are designed differently, reflecting the host of the games.


"Paralympic Anthem"
Approved by the IPC in March 1996

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The Paralympic Anthem, also known as the Paralympic Hymn, is played when the Paralympic Flag is raised. It is a musical piece, "Hymn de l’Avenir" (en. "Anthem of the Future") composed by Thierry Darnis. The anthem was approved by the IPC in March 1996.[21]

Australian country singer Graeme Connors wrote the lyrics for the anthem in 2001.[22]

Paralympic Oath

The Paralympic Oath is a solemn promise made by one athlete—as a representative of each of the participating Paralympic competitors; and by one judge—as a representative of each officiating Paralympic referee or other official, at the opening ceremonies of each Paralympic Games.

The athlete, from the team of the organizing country, holds a corner of the Paralympic Flag while reciting the oath:

Athletes' Oath

In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Paralympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.[23]

The judge, also from the host nation, holds a corner of the flag but takes a slightly different oath:

Judges' Oath (Officials' Oath)

In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Paralympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spirit of sportsmanship.[24]

The coach, from the host nation, holds a corner of the flag but takes a slightly different oath:

Coaches' Oath

In the name of all coaches and other members of the athletes entourage, I promise that we shall commit ourselves to ensuring that the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play is fully adhered to and upheld in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Paralympic movement.


The first Paralympic Oath was taken at the first Paralympic Games, in Rome in 1960. The Paralympic Oath is identical to the Olympic Oath, with the exception of the word 'Olympic' being substituted by 'Paralympic'. The Oath was originally written by Pierre de Coubertin. The first oath (an Athlete's Oath) was taken at the Olympic Games in Antwerp in 1920. The original text by Coubertin, has since been modified several times. The first Judge's/Official's Oath was taken at the Olympic Games in Sapporo in 1972.[25] The first Coach's Oath was taken at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.


Athletes and judges that have taken the Paralympic Oath are listed below.[23][25]

Paralympic Oath
ParalympicsAthleteJudge (Official)Coach
1960 Summer Paralympics Franco Rossi -
1964 Summer Paralympics Shigeo Aono -
1968 Summer Paralympics Zvi Ben-Zvi -
1972 Summer Paralympics Marga Floer Unknown
1976 Winter Paralympics Unknown Unknown
1976 Summer Paralympics Eugene Reimer Unknown
1980 Winter Paralympics Unknown Unknown
1980 Summer Paralympics Irene Schmidt Henk Boersbroek
1984 Winter Paralympics Unknown Unknown
1984 Summer Paralympics Ólavur Kongsbak (NY)
John Harris (SM)
Jack Abramson (NY)
Ronald Nicholls (SM)
1988 Winter Paralympics Unknown Unknown
1988 Summer Paralympics So-Boo Kim Unknown
1992 Winter Paralympics Ludovic Rey-Robert Unknown
1992 Summer Paralympics José Manuel Rodríguez Ibáñez Unknown
1994 Winter Paralympics Cato Zahl Pedersen Unknown
1996 Summer Paralympics Trischa Zorn Unknown
1998 Winter Paralympics Ryuei Shinohe Takashi Takano
2000 Summer Paralympics Tracey Cross Mary Longden
2002 Winter Paralympics Sarah Billmeier Unknown
2004 Summer Paralympics Maria Kalpakidou Vlassis Tamvakieras
2006 Winter Paralympics Fabrizio Zardini Mauro Scanacapra
2008 Summer Paralympics Wu Chunmiao[26] Hao Guohua[26]
2010 Winter Paralympics Herve Lord[27] Linda Kirton[28]
2012 Summer Paralympics Liz Johnson[29] Richard Allcroft[29] David Hunter[29]
2014 Winter Paralympics Valery Redkozubov Elena Mokerova Alexander Nazarov[30]
2016 Summer Paralympics Phellipe Rodrigues Raquel Daffre Amaury Veríssimo

Paralympic Order

The Paralympic Order is the highest award of the Paralympic Movement. The recipients get a medal with the IPC logo on it. The Paralympic Order is awarded to individuals for particularly distinguished contribution to the Paralympic Movement.[31][32]


Main article: Paralympic mascots

Each Paralympic Games have a mascot, usually an animal native to the area or occasionally human figures representing the cultural heritage. Nowadays, most of the merchandise aimed at young people focuses on the mascots, rather than the Paralympic flag or organization logos.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "New Logo and Motto for IPC". International Paralympic Committee. 2003. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 International Paralympic Committee - The IPC logo, motto and flag,
  3. New Logo and Motto for IPC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  4. Firsts at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  5. 1 2 3 Vom Rehabilitationssport zu den Paralympics (German), Sportmuseum Leipzig
  6. Google translate, Google translate
  7. Athlete first: a history of the paralympic movement, by Steve Bailey, Google Books
  8. Paralympic Emblems, The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  9. Lillehammer 1994, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  10. 1 2 3 An introduction to emblems and mascots of Paralympic Games (photos attached), The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  11. Emblems of Paralympic Summer Games -- Athens 2004, The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  12. Beijing Paralympics Emblem unveiled (photo attached), The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, July 13, 2004
  13. Vancouver 2010 paralympic games Emblem Graphic standards, The Official Website of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games
  14. "London 2012 logo to be unveiled". BBC Sport. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
  15. Get involved: Handover - London 2012 Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. Paralympic Emblem, The Official Website of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, December 25, 2015
  17. Games symbols and mascots, Get Set - London 2012 Education Programme
  19. Stoke Mandeville, Stoke Mandeville to feature in all Paralympic Games Torch Relays
  21. IPC Handbook - Bylaws Governance and Organizational Structure (.pdf file), International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  22. , International Paralympic Committee (IPC), 2001
  23. 1 2 Paralympic Winter Games History, The Official Web Site of the U.S. Olympic Committee
  24. Summary of the Opening Ceremony, The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, September 6, 2008
  25. 1 2 Paralympic Oath (.pdf file), International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  26. 1 2 China opens Beijing Paralympic Games in celebration of life and humanity, English People's Daily Online, September 7, 2008
  27. Paralympic Games kick off in Vancouver, National Post, March 12, 2010
  28. Abby curl official to read Paralympic oath,, March 8, 2010
  29. 1 2 3 Michael Hirst BBC 2012 (2012-08-30). "Paralympic Games 'return home' to UK". Retrieved 2014-02-19.
  30. "Sochi 2014 Paralympic Opening Ceremony lights up Russia". 7 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  31. The Paralympian - Issue 1/2010, The Paralympian page 14, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  32. Paralympic Order, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.