Intellectual Disability, Special Olympics and Parasport

  • Jan Burns


This chapter traces the history of the involvement of athletes with intellectual disabilities within parasport. There are two main organisations supporting these athletes, the Special Olympics and the International Association for Para-athletes with Intellectual Disabilities (INAS). The origins and different purposes of these organisations are described. The reasons for the exclusion, and then re-inclusion, of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the Paralympics are detailed, including a review of the research which has taken place to support new approaches to eligibility and classification for this group. This work has opened a rich area for future research regarding the relationship of cognitive skills to sports performance and the chapter details this potential and future developments post the Rio Games.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Burns
    • 1
  1. 1.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK

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