2004 Summer Paralympics

From Academic Kids

The 2004 Summer Paralympics were held in Athens, Greece, from September 17 to September 28. The twelfth Paralympic Games, an estimated 4,000 athletes took part in the Athens programme, with ages ranging from 11 to 66. Paralympic events had already taken place during the 2004 Summer Olympics as demonstration sports - women's 800 m and men's 1500 m wheelchair races. These races were open to able-bodied people and were without disability classification - as such, they did not form part of the official Paralympic programme. See Wheelchair racing at the 2004 Summer Olympics for more details.

Athletes with learning difficulties were excluded from the games due to the difficulties in testing for and classifying these disabilities. The exclusion was introduced after the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, the first games with events exclusively for people with learning difficulties, after it was found that the majority of the Spanish basketball team were not disabled. The International Paralympic Committee stated that the exclusion would continue until there are sufficient tests for the disabilities and a way to measure the effect they have on a sport. Exhibition matches for these categories were featured in the Games in basketball and table tennis, and the Special Olympics remains the major sporting event specifically designed for athletes with learning difficulties.


Medal count and country performance ranking

Missing image
Silver 2004
2004 Summer Paralympics
Rank NPC Name  Gold   Silver Bronze Total 
1 China634632141
2 Great Britain35302994
3 Canada28192572
4 United States27223988
5 Australia263836100
6 Ukraine24121955
7 Spain20272471
8 Germany19283279
9 France18263074
10Missing image

For the full list, see 2004 Summer Paralympics medal count

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony for the 2004 Summer Paralympics took place on September 17, 2004. The show started with children passing on knowledge and raising their lights to the sky. This was a reference to Hippocrates, who transferred knowledge to the children. A 26 meters tall olive tree (with more than 195,000 leaves) symbolising life stood in the middle of the arena. The opening ceremony also featured a performance with human drama, with light and with music, in an allegory about obstacles and limits. The Parade of Delegations was accompanied by the music of French composers Yves Stepping and Jean Christophe. The music told the legend of Hephaestos, god of fire and son of Zeus and Hera. An athlete from Turkmenistan propelled himself around the stadium by doing somersaults. Greece, the home team, received a strong cheer. After that, fireworks erupted at the stadium. There were 150 local support staff involved and 400 volunteers. The children were from ages 8 to 17, coming from Australia, France, Spain, Greece and Germany. The Games were officially declared opened by Greek president Costis Stephanopoulos and Phil Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee. They were accompanied by the head of the organizing committee Gianna Angelopoulos?Daskalaki, who told the athletes and the audience: "The Olympic flame illuminates athletes. Many of you will leave Athens with medals, but all of you will leave as champions." Phil Craven quoted Democritus in his speech: "Two thousand years ago, Democritus said 'To win oneself is the first and best of all victories.' This holds true for all athletes, but especially for Paralympians. Recognising and cultivating your unique abilities and mastering challenges - you set standards and give expression for many people, young and old, around the world." The Olympic flame was lit by Greek athlete Georgios Toptsis.

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony for the 2004 Summer Paralympics took place on September 28, 2004. The traditional cultural display was removed from the ceremony as a mark of respect for the deaths of 37 teenagers and 4 teachers from Farkadona, travelling to Athens, whose bus collided with a lorry near the town of Kamena Vourla.

"The Athens Olympics Organising Committee (ATHOC) has decided to cancel the closing ceremony of the 12th Paralympics as initially planned and scheduled because of the tragic accident that cost the life of pupils. The artistic and entertainment part of the ceremony will not take place." (official statement)

Flags were flown at half mast and a minute's silence was observed. In contrast with the formal nature of the opening ceremony, the athletes entered the stadium for the final time as a collective. The flag of the IPC was then officially handed over to the 2008 hosts, Beijing. A procession of young people then made their way to join the athletes in the centre of the stadium carrying paper lanterns, before the Paralympic flame was extinguished, the final moment of the Paralympic Games.

Sports featured in the 2004 Summer Paralympics

The 2004 Summer Paralympics included 19 sports. New events featured in the Games were five-a-side blind football, women's wheelchair volleyball, and quads wheelchair tennis.

Results for individual events can be found on the relevant page.


Athletes from 136 nations competed in the Athens Paralympics.

Articles by nation:

See also

External links

International Paralympic Games
Summer Paralympics
1960 | 1964 | 1968 | 1972 | 1976 | 1980 | 1984 | 1988 | 1992 | 1996 | 2000 | 2004 | 2008 | 2012 | 2016
Winter Paralympics
1976 | 1980 | 1984 | 1988 | 1992 | 1994 | 1998 | 2002 | 2006 | 2010 | 2014
de:Sommer-Paralympics 2004

fr:Jeux paralympiques d'été 2004 it:Paraolimpiadi estive 2004 nl:Paralympics 2004


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools