DUSHANBE, September 4, 2008, Asia-Plus  -- Two Tajik athletes with disabilities will participate in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics that is being officially opened today evening, according to Tajikistan’s National Olympic Committee (NOC).

Khairullo Abdurahimov will participate in men’s powerlifting and Zaytuna Roziqova will participate in women’s powerlifting.

We will recall that the Orian Group of Companies, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has sponsored participation of Tajik athletes in Paralympics in Beijing.  According to the Orian Group, the company is a general sponsor of Tajik Para-Olympic athletes.   Owner of the Orian Group of Companies is Muhammad Roziq Nematov, native of Tajikistan.  The company now successfully works on real estate, consulting and motor markets.

The Beijing 2008 Paralympics have brought together athletes with disabilities from many countries across the world to compete in the following Paralympic sports: archery, athletics; boccia; cycling; equestrian; football 5-a-side; football 7-a-side; goalball; judo; powerlifting; rowing; sailing; shooting; swimming; table tennis; volleyball sitting; wheelchair basketball; wheelchair fencing; wheelchair rugby; and  wheelchair tennis.

In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann organized a sports competition involving World War II veterans with a spinal cord injury in Stoke Mandeville, England.  Four years later, competitors from the Netherlands joined the games and an international movement was born.  Olympic style games for athletes with a disability were organized for the first time in Rome in 1960, now called Paralympics.

In Toronto in 1976, other disability groups were added and the idea of merging together different disability groups for international sport competitions was born. In the same year, the first Paralympic Winter Games took place in Sweden.

Today, the Paralympics are elite sport events for athletes from six different disability groups. They emphasize, however, the participants'' athletic achievements rather than their disability. The movement has grown dramatically since its first days. The number of athletes participating in Summer Paralympic Games has increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries in Rome in 1960 to 3806 athletes from 136 countries in Athens in 2004.

The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games and the Albertville 1992 Winter Paralympic Games they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympics. On 19 June 2001, an agreement was signed between IOC and IPC securing this practice for the future. From the 2012 bid process onwards, the host city chosen to host the Olympic Games will be obliged to also host the Paralympics.