Down memory lane: 1984 and 1988 Winter Games at Innsbruck
German Alpine skier Reinhild Moeller was the star of the 1984 Winter Games, claiming three gold and one silver. 24 Feb 2022
Host Austria during the Opening Ceremony of the 1984 Paralympic Winter Games.
After the success of the first two Paralympic Winter Games in 1976 and 1980, people were totally convinced of the healing power of sports, and the Winter Paralympic Games started gaining momentum.
A unique feature of the first few Winter Paralympic Games was that they were held in the same year as the Summer Paralympic Games. So the 1984 Winter Paralympics was held Innsbruck, Austria from 14 - 20 January and this was followed by the Summer Paralympics, jointly hosted by London and New York from 17 June - 22 July.
Ditto for the 1988 Games, the Winter Paralympics were held once again at Innsbruck from 17-24 January whereas the Summer Paralympics were held at Seoul, South Korea from 15-24 October.
In the early 80s, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) helped set up the International Co-ordination Committee of World Sports Organisations for the Disabled (ICC), which later evolved into the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
1984 WINTER GAMES - INNSBRUCK
The 1984 Winter Paralympic Games were the first organised by the International Co-ordination Committee of World Sports Organisations for the Disabled.
The 1984 Games signaled further improvement in terms of the increasing number of participants and also the expanding portfolio of sports in which more athletes could participate.
The 1984 Games involved 419 athletes from 21 nations. In all 107 events were held in three sports - Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Speed Racing and Cross-Country Skiing. Athletes with cerebral palsy were eligible to compete in the Winter Games for the first time.
The Games, then known as the 3rd World Winter Games for the Disabled, were organised under the auspices of the IOC.
Hosts Austria topped the medals table with 70 medals in all including, 34 gold while Finland finished a distant second with 34 medals, including 16 gold. Norway finished third with 41 medals (25 gold).
German Alpine skier Reinhild Moeller was the star of the Games, claiming three gold and one silver.
Moeller also won medals in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Paralympics. A versatile athlete, the German skier, who lost half of her left leg in a farm accident at three, ended her career at the 2006 Winter Paralympics with 23 medals, including 19 gold.
1988 WINTER GAMES - INNSBRUCK
The Austrian town once again stepped up to host the event because of issues with the Calgary 1988 Organising Committee. These were the last Paralympic Games to be held in a separate location than the Winter Olympics, which were held that year at Calgary, Canada, because of financial and recruiting difficulties.
In all 377 Para athletes - 300 men and 77 women - from 22 countries competed at the Games. The Soviet Union made its first appearance at the 1988 Games and it was also its last as it disintegrated in 1990.
Competitions were held in 94 events in four sports - Para Alpine Skiing, Para Biathlon, Para Cross-Country Skiing and Ice Sledge Speed Skating.
Sit-skiing was also introduced for the first time as an event in both the Alpine and Nordic competitions.
Norway topped the medals table with 60 medals including 25 gold. Hosts Austria finished second with 44 medals - 20 of them being gold.
Norway's Ice Sled Speed racer Knut Lundstrom, making his Paralympic Winter Games debut, won four gold in the 100m, 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m races. He ended his career in 1998 as one of the most successful Winter Paralympics with 14 medals in all.
The successful completion of the 1988 Winter Paralympic Games were followed by a period of change in the Games that helped them become stronger.