“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play....Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

–The International Olympic

Committee (IOC) Charter.

The idea behind the paralympics; of individuals being allowed to participate in and compete in sports to test their mettle against other competitors was first introduced in 1948, in England, after World War II, with a small gathering of war veterans looking to live normal lives even after the war had devastating effects on both mind and body.

After an agreement between the IOC and the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) in 2012, host cities of the Olympics are under contractual agreement to also host the paralympic games. Ten categories of disability are covered in these games, to ensure that the maximum number of disadvantaged persons are able to compete.

These games are testimonial to the fact that everyone can excel at what they are adept at, provided that they are given the right training and opportunities. While our own personal hero in the Paralympics, Haider Ali, was able to secure a bronze medal in the long jump in these games, it is important to remember that Pakistan is more than a few steps behind on the facilities provided to those with handicaps in this country. If more efforts were to be made, we might soon have more than just one Haider Ali becoming a source of pride for the nation.