The IPC is the international governing body for sports practised by athletes with motor disabilities and visual impairments. Its role is threefold: encouraging its members to develop para sports and social inclusion of people with disabilities through sport; overseeing the delivery of the Paralympic Games and other high‑level athletic competitions; and acting as the international federation for 10 para sports. The IPC has been working to make the world more inclusive through para sports for over 30 years and aims to enable athletes with disabilities to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and entertain the world.
The IPC was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 22 September 1989, under the leadership of the founding President, Dr Robert Steadward. It was created to replace the International Co‑ordination Committee of World Sports Organizations for the Disabled (ICC), which had been created in 1982 at the initiative of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and remained active until March 1993.
Like the IOC, the IPC is an international non‑profit organisation formed of 184 National Paralympic Committees, including the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, international sports federations, and continental and international sports organisations for people with disabilities.
The values of the Paralympic movement are courage, determination, inspiration and equality. The symbol of the Paralympic Games is made up of three “agitos” in red, blue and green, positioned in a circular formation on a white background. Each agito (Latin for “I move”) symbolises movement and underlines the role of the IPC in bringing together athletes from all over the world.
In 1999, the IPC moved to Bonn, where it now employs over 110 people.
Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the same cities
In 2001, Sir Philip Craven took over as IPC President, replacing Dr Robert Steadward. That same year, the IOC and the IPC signed an agreement guaranteeing and protecting the organisation of the Paralympic Games and ensuring that, from the Games in Beijing in 2008, the Paralympic Games would always be held shortly after the Olympic Games and use the same sporting venues and facilities. Every host city selected to hold the Olympic Games will therefore also organise the Paralympic Games.
In 2012, the IOC and the IPC signed an extension to the agreement, ensuring that the IOC would continue to support the IPC and the Paralympic Games until 2020. In 2016, a new cooperation agreement was established, linking the two organisations again until 2032.
At the IPC General Assembly in 2017, Andrew Parsons succeeded Sir Philip Craven as IPC President.