Today’s Google doodle marks the start of the 2018 Paralympics that begin in PyeongChang today and will continue over the next 10 days.
More than 80 countries will be represented at this year’s Paralympics, and more than 80 medals will be awarded to the winning athletes.
According to the Google Doodle blog, there are more women competing in this year’s Paralympic games than any previous games: “Over 670 athletes, including more female athletes than ever before, have the chance to show their skills after years of hard work and training.”
Leading to a search for “Paralympics 2018,” the doodle is an animated image highlighting the athletes who will compete in a number of winter competitions, including alpine skiing, biathlon, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.
The original Paralympic competitions started more than 100 years ago, according to Paralympic.org, with the first sport clubs for deaf athletes in Berlin dating back to 1888. The competitions for athletes with disabilities became more popular following World War II, offering veterans who had been injured during wartime a chance to compete.
The first official Paralympic Games took place in 1960, in Rome, Italy, with 400 athletes representing 23 different countries. The first Paralympic Winter Games came more than 16 years later, when Örnsköldsvik, Sweden hosted winter competitions for the athletes. The Paralympic Games now rank as the second-biggest sporting event in the world.
Today’s doodle follows the 17 Olympic Winter Game doodle series that Google ran throughout last month’s Olympic competitions.
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