Helmet Protective gear Specialized manual wheelchair
There are several rules that govern the design of the wheelchair athletes use in competition. Some of these rules are: the wheelchair shall have at least two large wheels and one small wheel; the maximum diameter of the large wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 70 cm, and he maximum diameter of the small wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 50 cm; no part of the body of the chair may extend forwards beyond the hub of the front wheel and be wider than the inside of the hubs of the two rear wheels. Also, the maximum height from the ground of the main body of the chair shall be 50 cm. Only one plain, round, hand rim is allowed for each large wheel. No mechanical gears or levers shall be allowed, that may be used to propel the chair. These are just some of the rules in place that govern most international competitions.
Wheelchair Racing is the racing of wheelchairs, by competitors who are unable to run. Races can be held on a track or as a road race. The competitor with the quickest time of completion is the winner. Wheelchair racing is the equivalent to Olympic track meets and can take place on a track or as a road race. Wheelchair racing is open to any type of disability, amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and partially sighted (when combined with another disability). Athletes use specialized wheelchairs that allow them to reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. There are several events in which athletes can compete in including sprints, long distance races, relay races, and a marathon.
In 1948, the first Stoke Mandeville Games for the Paralyzed were held as recognition of sports as rehabilitation spread throughout Europe. The first international competition for athletes in wheelchairs was held in 1952 between Great Brittan and the Netherlands and was comprised of six different sports-wheelchair racing among them. Now, wheelchair racing's main competition is held at the Summer Paralympics.