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  • U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, was created in May 2001 to focus efforts on enhancing programs, funding and opportunities for persons with physical disabilities to participate in Paralympic sport.

    The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is a non-profit tax-exempt organization. The USOC works with more than 50 member organizations to provide programs and services to develop athletes and coaches that one day dream of participating in the Olympic, Paralympic and Pan Am Games and to promote the Olympic and Paralympic ideals throughout the United S tates.

    The Paralympic Games are the second largest sporting event in the world, conceding top honors only to the Olympics. The multi-sport competition showcases the talents and abilities of the world's most elite athletes with physical disabilities. The Paralympics feature 21 sports, 18 of which are also contested in the Olympics.

    Participants in the Paralympic Games must meet eligibility standards established through the International Paralympic Committee. Disability groups represented include amputees, blind or visually impaired athletes, athletes with cerebral palsy, athletes with spinal cord injuries and athletes who are affected by a range of other disabilities that do not fall into the aforementioned categories, such as multiple sclerosis or dwarfism.