Brent Lakatos in a racing chair

Para athletics, also known as track and field, is the largest competition at the Paralympic Games.  Events are available for physical disabilities – both wheelchair and standing - and athletes with visual impairments. Contested events are held in track racing, throwing and there is also a marathon and pentathlon.

  • Track events: Sprint (100m, 200m, 400m), Middle Distance (800m, 1500m), Long Distance (5,000m, 10,000m), and Relay races (4x100m, 4x400m)
  • Road event: Marathon
  • Jumping events: High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple Jump
  • Throwing events: Discus, Shot Put, Club Throw and Javelin
  • Combined events: Pentathlon (track and road events, jumping events, and throwing events, depending on the athletes' classification)

The rules of Paralympic track and field are almost identical to those of its Olympic counterparts.  Allowances are made to accommodate certain disabilities (for example, blind and visually-impaired runners may compete with guide runners attached to them by a tether at the wrist, but it is not a requirement for them to be physically be attached). 

Canada has a rich history in para athletics and its athletes have reached the podium at every Paralympic Games since 1968. Wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc is the most successful Canadian track Paralympian with 21 medals earned at the Games. She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year in 2008, a first for a female athlete with a disability.

Athletics are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) with co-ordination from the IPC Athletics Sports Manager and Technical Committee. For more information about Canadian Athletics for athletes with a disability, go to the National Sport Federation: Athletics Canada.

For a full list of historical results, visit the International Paralympic Committee website.