Why the Games Matter

Imagine a world where everyone is included through sport

Around 15% of the world’s population has a disability. Approximately 2-3% of the world population have an intellectual impairment.

That’s between 178 – 256 million people worldwide!

WHO Disability Report, 2011

Imagine a world where everyone is included through sport.

Where all athletes, regardless of age, gender, nationality and ability have equal opportunity to perform and be celebrated at the highest level of competition.

While many achievements have been made for better inclusion, there is still a wide gap between the opportunities available to able-bodied (and even other disability groups) and the opportunities available to athletes with intellectual impairment.  

Athletes with intellectual impairment have to overcome discrimination and prejudice to train and perform as high-performance elite athletes. But they have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else.  

Many athletes dream of competing at the Olympics and Paralympics but without the same classification opportunities for their disability group, they’re not able to compete in the same competition as other elite athletes.

Currently, 3 out of 28 Paralympic sports (Athletics, Swimming, and Table Tennis) offer classification for athletes with intellectual impairment at the Paralympics and they are only able to compete in a limited number of events. 

Virtus events like OA Games 2022 exist to showcase performance and ability, not disability.

They exist to offer an elite pathway for athletes with intellectual impairment to compete at the highest level.

They exist to showcase that athletes with intellectual impairment can compete at an Olympic and Paralympic level – they just need to be given the opportunity.

This is why the Games matter.

Learn more about classification opportunities at OA Games 2022.