Monthly Archives: March 2013

All time Summer and Winter Top Ten Paralympic Games Medal Tables

Below are the Top Ten medal tables for the summer (1960 – 2012) and winter (1976 – 2010) Paralympic Games. Please note that the total include the medals won at the Madrid 1992 Paralympic Games for the Intellectually Disabled. The totals also include medals for individual events the results of which do not currently appear in the IPC historical data-base. Copies of these results, often missed out of official published results books (particularly in early Games), but appearing in newspapers and other sources, were passed to IPC several years ago, but have yet to be added to the data-base. There will, therefore, be discrepancies between the tables below and the results you would get if you used the IPC historical data-base to calculate them. The IPC also do not currently recognise the Madrid 1992 Paralympic Games for the Intellectually Disabled as a Paralympic Games, despite the fact that they are actually mentioned in a contract signed by ICC and IPC regarding who would be responsible for the Paralympic summer Games of 1992 and the winter Games of 1994.

Summer Games (1960 – 2012)
                                               Gold Silver Bronze Total
USA                                      732    656     678       2066
Great Britain                     563    550    539       1652
Germany*                          487    493    466       1446
Canada                                386     319     329      1034
Australia                             359    373     345      1077
France                                 338    342     329      1009
China                                   331     259     199         789
Netherlands                     260     226     204       690
Poland                                255     242     197        694
Sweden                               230    223      170       623

Winter Games (1976 – 2010)

                                    Gold Silver Bronze Total
Norway                     134    101       80        315
Germany*                121     108     101       330
Austria                      102     108     104      314
USA                              96       97         68      261
Finland                        75       48        60       183
Russia                          55       59         39       153
Switzerland               49       55        48       152
France                         47       44        48      139
Canada                        36        41        42      119
Sweden                        25       30        40        95

* These totals include medals won by the former Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (DDR)

Got a question about Paralympic or disability sport? Ask the Anorak!

Okay, so I might be opening myself up for a whole heap of trouble here, but I thought rather than me just posting random articles with a sociological or historical focus around Paralympic or disability sport in general I thought I’d see what kind of questions people might be interested in me trying to answer or topics they might like me to write about. So if you’ve got a question you want answering or there’s a particular topic you’d like me write about – now’s your chance to ask! I’m not guaranteeing to have the answers to all questions, but I’ll give it my best shot. Some questions may take longer than others to answer depending upon the amount of research I have to do, so please be patient. If I truly don’t have the answer to your question – I’ll tell you and, if possible, try to point you in the direction of somewhere or someone where you might get it answered! You can leave your question or suggested topic in the comment box below or on the Ask the Anorak page.

The Study of Disability Sport in Higher Education

Depending on what definition is used for “disability” at least 10% of the world’s population is disabled in some way. For many of the non-disabled population the prefix “dis” brings with it connotations of less able, less important and less worthy (Brittain, 2004). This is equally true of nearly all academic disciplines when it comes to both teaching and research, which at best make a token effort to include people with disabilities and the impact of those disabilities within a particular subject area, and often simply make no attempt at all. Sport and Leisure appear to be no exception to this.

According to Torkildsen (1986) a positive, proactive and friendly attitude from management and staff towards disabled individuals can often overcome many of the problems posed by access to a particular programme or facility. However, this can only really occur if the staff have an understanding of the issues that surround participation in, and the development of, sport for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, the training that current and future workers in the area of sport currently receive is almost wholly based around the provision of sport for the non-disabled population. A review of the key texts currently used at some of the key institutions involved in the provision of degrees in the area of sport in the UK shows that they make little or no mention of disability sport whatsoever. Tomlinson (Ed.) (2007), Jarvie (2006) and Green and Houlihan (2005) all make no mention whatsoever of disability sport. Hylton and Bramham (2008) simply mentions the Disability Rights Commission amongst a list of organisations. Numerous other texts appear to show the same apparent disregard for this growing area of sport. The lack of any substantive content in courses and textbooks designed to train the sports practitioners of the future is, for disabled people, simply a further affirmation of their exclusion from the rest of society based upon non-disabled perceptions of their abilities, which for the most part are unfounded. However, the fact that they do go unrecognised within this training process simply feeds back into their feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth, and reinforces the belief that sport and leisure activities are not for them. It also means that lecturers and teachers in sport have little or no reference material and so lack the knowledge, training and confidence to try and change the current status quo.

Brittain (2010) cites possible reasons why disability sport is overlooked in terms of academic and vocational training. According to Coakley (1998), sport is a form of cultural practice created by groups of people in order to help find ways to live with each other and at the same time make their lives more fulfilling and meaningful. Sage (1993) claims “Sports and physical education are practices, which are socially constructed within the culture in which they exist, and any adequate account of them must be grounded in an understanding of power, privilege, and dominance within society” (Sage, 1993 cited in DePauw, 2000; p. 358). However, as sport is a social construction of dominant groups within society it is, therefore, a creation of and for non-disabled people, which gives priority to certain types of human movement (Barton, 1993). Therefore, disabled individuals wishing to take part in some kind of sporting activity at any level have first to overcome a complex inter-connection of a variety of socially constructed concepts (e.g. the way they are positioned within society in terms of sport, normality, body image), the effects of which can be lessened or increased by other social constructions such as their gender, age, race, sexual orientation and material factors.

Ferguson (2006, cited in Shapiro et al (2012: 105)) cites eight reasons for infusing information about disabilities in the general curriculum including the fact that ignorance feeds discrimination and stereotypes. The idea of infusing disability material into the sports curriculum is not new. As early as 1994 DePauw and Goc Karp (1994a, 1994b) introduced the idea and several authors since have re-iterated the idea (Brittain (2010, 2008); Hums et al (2007, 2003); DePauw and Doll-Tepper (2000); Rizzo et al (1997)). However, despite these articles it is apparent that only limited practical progress has been made on this issue.

In the UK the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University has been carrying out research for a number of years, but there is little evidence that this has spread to their curriculum. However, over the last year or so with all the publicity given to the London 2012 Paralympic Games a number of new initiatives have arisen that indicate maybe things are changing, albeit slowly. At the University of Worcester they have introduced a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport degree and have recently advertised for a Professor of Disability Sport to move the initiative forward. At the University of Lincoln they are running a Disability Sport Project whereby a group of students will complete research investigating disability sport provision and demands at the University of Lincoln. The group have agreed a number of targets and key performance indicators which include;
– Creating a working partnership between stakeholders at the University
– Completing research into disabled students’ experiences of sport at the University, and to ascertain demand for further services
– Producing a report making recommendations for the direction of future disability sport at the University, with a view to producing an agreed mission-statement for disability sport provision in the University.

At the University of Bath The Centre of Excellence for DisAbility Sport & Health (DASH) has been set up and will host research into disability sport and exercise for disabled athletes and military amputees and is part of the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired by the University’s role in helping to train elite Paralympic athletes at its Sports Training Village. And finally the English Federation of Disability Sport has set up a Research for Disabled People in Sport Working Group consisting of academics interested in the study of disability sport in the UK in an attempt to bring practitioners and academics in the field together for the benefit of all athletes with a disability. Hopefully these examples are just the tip of the iceberg and are an indication that the study of sport for people with disabilities is growing in importance and stature.


Barton, L., 1993, Disability, Empowerment and Physical Education, in Evans, J. (Ed.), 1993, Equality, Education and Physical Education, The Falmer Press, London, p. 43-54.
Brittain, I., 2010, The London 2012 Paralympic Games: Will Prejudice or Progress Prevail? Link 26, The Higher Education Academy Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, Oxford, UK, 5-6.
Brittain, I., 2008, The Paralympic Games, Disability Sport and the Curriculum, Link 20, The Higher Education Academy Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, Oxford, UK, 16-18.
Brittain, I., 2004, Perceptions of disability and their impact upon involvement in sport for people with disabilities at all levels. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol.28 (4): 429-452.
Coakley, J., 1998, Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies (6th Ed.), McGraw-Hill, Boston, Mass, USA.
DePauw, K.P., 2000, Social-Cultural Context of Disability: Implications for Scientific Inquiry and Professional Preparation, in Quest, Vol. 52: 358 – 368.
Depauw, K.P. & Doll-Tepper, G., 2000, Toward progressive inclusion and acceptance: Myth or reality? The inclusion debate and bandwagon discourse, Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Vol. 17: 135 – 143.
Depauw, K.P. & Goc Karp, G., 1994a, Integrating knowledge of disability throughout the physical education
curricula: An infusion approach, Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Vol.11: 3 – 13.
Depauw, K.P. & Goc Karp, G., 1994b, Preparing teachers for inclusion: The role of higher education, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Vol. 65: 51 – 53, 56.
Ferguson, P., 2006, Infusing disability studies into the general curriculum. Tempe, AZ: National Institute for Urban School Improvement.
Green, M. & Houlihan, B., 2005, Elite Sport Development: Policy Learning and Political Prioties, Routledge, Abingdon, UK
Hums, M.A., Moorman, A.M. & Wolff, E.A., 2007, “A different lens: Examining disability sport from a sport management perspective”. Retrieved from
Hums, M.A., Moorman, A.M. & Fay, T., 2003, Educating future sport management about the Paralympic Games: Integrating the Paralympic Games into a sport management curriculum, Proceedings of the 2003 VISTA Paralympic Congress, Bollnas, Sweden (CD Version)
Hylton, K. & Bramham, P.(Eds.), 2008, Sports Development: Policy Process and Practice, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
Jarvie, G., 2006, Sport, Culture and Society: An Introduction, Routledge, Abingdon, UK
Rizzo, T.L., Broadhead, G.D. & Kowalski, E., 1997, Changing kinesiology and physical education by infusing
information about individuals with disabilities, Quest, Vol. 49: 229 – 237.
Sage, G.H., 1993, Sport and Physical Education and the New World Order: dare we be agents of social change? In Quest, Vol. 45:151-164.
Shapiro, D.R., Pitts, B.G., Hums, M.A. & Calloway, J., 2012, Infusing Disability Sport into the Sport Management Curriculum, Choregia, Vol. 8(1): 101 – 118.
Tomlinson, A. (Ed), 2007, The Sports Studies Reader, Routledge, Abingdon, UK
Torkildsen, G., 1986, Leisure and Recreation Management (2nd Ed.); E. & F. N. Spon, London.