History Games 2000s: Games of equal splendour In 2000, during the Sydney Games, the relationship between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee was further strengthened by the signing of a memorandum of understanding and later the signing of a cooperative agreement. Since then the parallel relationship of the two organisations has resulted in the two largest sporting spectacles on earth being organised closely together. 2000 Sydney Summer Paralympics The 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games set new records for media coverage and tickets sold. 3,881 athletes from 122 countries, competing in 561 events in 18 sports. The GB team of 140 men and 74 women won a total of 41 Gold, 43 Silver and 47 Bronze medals. 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Paralympics 416 athletes from 36 countries, competing in 4 sports. The small GB team of 2 men didn't won no medals. 2004 Athens Summer Paralympics After the success of Sydney came the Athens Games in 2004. There was further growth in the number of athletes and countries and TV audiences. China led the medal table, they sent a strong team ahead of the 2008 Beijing games. 3,808 athletes from 135 countries, competing in 518 events in 19 sports. The GB team of 101 men and 66 women won a total of 35 Gold, 30 Silver and 29 Bronze medals. Sophie Christiansen won her first medal, a bronze, in the CP equestrian event at Athens aged just 16; she has since gone on to take gold at Beijing and London. She describes what the Athens games meant for her here Danny Crates won gold at Athens in the 800 metres and took the world record in the same year. He describes the challenges and techniques of running for an arm-amputee athlete here Peter Norfolk won Britain’s first tennis gold at Athens and then repeated the achievement in Beijing. At London he was voted by the rest of the team to act as flag bearer for the opening ceremony. He reflects on the three games, Athens was exciting; there was always the worry about it being built on time; the crowds were good. It was my first Paralympics and obviously I’ve got great memories winning a gold and a silver… Beijing was way more spectacular, way bigger, much more media… For Beijing, to repeat what I did in Athens was a wonderful achievement which i’m really proud of. 2006 Torino Winter Paralympics 474 athletes from 38 countries, competing in 58 medal events in 5 sports. The GB team of 18 men and 2 women, competed in Alpine Skiing, Para ice hockey, and Wheelchair Curling; the Mixed Curling Team won the Silver medal. 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics The 2008 games at Beijing, famously described by the Chinese as “a games of equal splendour” in the way that there was so much more parity between the Olympics and Paralympics, were arguably surpassed in their turn by the London games of 2012. The Games have come a long way since their origins at Stoke Mandeville in 1948. At Beijing the games hosted 146 countries made up of 3951 athletes showing that the movement has gone a significant distance towards realising Ludwig Guttmann’s vision of a global competition where disabled athletes could compete on a level with their non-disabled counterparts. Beijing set new records for the number of athletes and countries represented. 3,951 athletes from 146 countries, competing in 472 events in 20 sports. The GB team of 134 men and 76 women won a total of 42 Gold, 29 Silver and 31 Bronze medals. Rowing was introduced as a sport in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. More information on the history of rowing can be found here Memories from the 2000s Sophie Christiansen, on winning a medal in the equestrian sport at Athens 2004. An interview with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. Chris Holmes winning 6 golds in swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Jayant Mistry playing wheelchair tennis at the 1992 Barcelona Games.