LegMaker on Paralympic games
Physical activity is important for everyone, but especially for those with disabilities. Instead of constantly seeing physical exertion as something being directed by a Physical Therapist trying to achieve a goal, sports can be a wonderful outlet for energy while also working on physical performance. The social aspects can also be very beneficial for mental health as an opportunity to meet other with similar experiences and interests, but most of all it can be fun. Instead of the focus being on what they are unable to do, the Paralympics emphasizes the incredible power that people have.
The Paralympics also one of the most high profile event for those with disabilities, and increases the visibility of those individuals. It helps to make them commonplace and prevalent in a society that tends to hid them away behind the medical view people with disabilities. This is a huge disservice to those people who should not solely be identified by a single aspect of who they are as a person, just as any person should not be defined or classified by a single physical attribute, interest, or experience. It also helps contribute to positive societal attitudes towards the disability community and improves visibility for young individuals who may be experiencing similar physical disabilities and provides them with the hope and encouragement that their accomplishments are only limited by their hard work and drive. It helps us all to move towards positive social change.
Athletes may use the LegMaker within their training in order to benefit their lower extremity function. This would not be permitted during competition, but could help to improve overall physical fitness and cardiac training for individuals wishing to take their training to the next level in order to optimize their performance. It could also have similar effects during practice sessions for sports specific activities. Most athletes who would potentially utilize the LegMaker would fall into the eligible impairment category of “Impaired Muscle Power”, which is one of the 10 possible groupings. Individuals must meet the minimum disability criteria in order to participate in a particular sport. They are then placed in a sports class in order to compete fairly with other individuals with similar functional abilities. As each sport requirement and individual ability vary greatly there are often multiple classifications for a single event, too many to cover in depth here. If you are interested in learning more please do so at https://www.paralympic.org/classification-of-sports
Below are the lists of potential sports for seated athletes:
Alpine (mono) Skiing
Cross Country Skiing
Ice sledge hockey (like Hockey, but seated)
Athletics (a combination track and field event)
Additional information about The Paralympic Games, their history, and additional events not listed above that are available to individuals with other disabilities are able to compete in is available at https://www.paralympic.org/sports
Abbie Klein PT, DPT, Nikita Chizhov, CEO, Anastasia Galkina, COO