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Floor Morriën, Matthew J. D. Taylor and Florentina J. Hettinga

Purpose:

To provide an overview of biomechanical studies in Paralympic research and their relevance for performance in Paralympic sports.

Methods:

The search terms paralympic biomechanics, paralympic sport performance, paralympic athlete performance, and paralympic athlete were entered into the electronic database PubMed.

Results:

Thirty-four studies were found. Biomechanical studies in Paralympics mainly contributed to performance enhancement by technical optimization (n = 32) and/or injury prevention (n = 6). In addition, biomechanics was found to be important in understanding activity limitation caused by various impairments, which is relevant for evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports (n = 6). Distinctions were made between biomechanical studies in sitting (41%), standing (38%), and swimming athletes (21%). In sitting athletes, mostly kinematics and kinetics in wheelchair propulsion were studied, mainly in athletes with spinal-cord injuries. In addition, kinetics and/or kinematics in wheelchair basketball, seated discus throwing, stationary shot-putting, hand-cycling, sit-skiing, and ice sledge hockey received attention. In standing sports, primarily kinematics of athletes with amputations performing jump sports and running and the optimization of prosthetic devices were investigated. No studies were reported on other standing sports. In swimming, mainly kick rate and resistance training were studied.

Conclusions:

Biomechanical research is important for performance by gaining insight into technical optimization, injury prevention, and evidence-based classification in Paralympic sports. In future studies it is advised to also include physiological and biomechanical measures, allowing the assessment of the capability of the human body, as well as the resulting movement.

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Anna Bjerkefors, Johanna S. Rosén, Olga Tarassova and Anton Arndt

Trunk, pelvis, and leg movements are important for performance in sprint kayaking. Para-kayaking is a new Paralympic sport in which athletes with trunk and/or leg impairment compete in 3 classification groups. The purpose of this study was to identify how physical impairments impact on performance by examining: differences in 3-dimensional joint range of motion (RM) between 10 (4 females and 6 males) elite able-bodied kayakers and 41 (13 females and 28 males) elite para-kayakers from the 3 classification groups, and which joint angles were correlated with power output during high-intensity kayak ergometer paddling. There were significant differences in RM between the able-bodied kayakers and the 3 para-kayak groups for the shoulders (flexion, rotation: able-bodied kayakers < para-kayakers); trunk and pelvis (rotation: able-bodied kayakers > para-kayakers); and legs (hip, knee, and ankle flexion: able-bodied kayakers > para-kayakers) during paddling. Furthermore, athletes with greater impairment exhibited lower trunk and leg RM compared with those with less impairment. Significant positive correlations were observed for both males and females between power output and peak shoulder and trunk flexion; trunk and pelvis rotation RM; and hip, knee, and ankle flexion RM. This information is important for understanding how key kinematic and kinetic variables for para-kayaking performance vary between athletes from different classification groups.

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Shara Crookston

According to USA Archery, the National Governing Body for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of archery, since December of 2011, the number of archery clubs has nearly doubled and individual membership is up 25%. Owners of archery ranges across the United States are experiencing long waiting lists of adolescents who are interested in learning the sport, and many owners contribute this surge in popularity to The Hunger Games (2008–2010) franchise, a dystopian series featuring Katniss Everdeen, a bow and arrow wielding teenage girl who becomes a reluctant revolutionary instrumental in destroying a totalitarian government. The link between the series and the recent surge in archery is explored here. In this feminist, qualitative study, nine girls (n = 9) between the ages of 11 and 14 were interviewed about their experience participating in at least one 6-week after-school archery program. The results of this study suggest that The Hunger Games series influenced the girls, both directly and indirectly, to participate in the archery program. Additionally, this study found that archery is a sport where both active and less active girls feel they can compete with boys on a level playing field. Lastly, the participants did not report experiencing sexism or bullying as a result of their archery participation. The author provides applications and recommendations for further research.

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Emily M. Newell

, including chapters on amateur sport in the community, campus recreation, the major games, and Paralympic sport. Although these topics do not always make headline news on ESPN, they are significant sectors of the sport industry that warrant the attention of future sport professionals, many of whom will end

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Renate M. Leithäuser

areas. It seems easier to secure research funding in areas where there is a bigger public interest and, consequently, more spectators and money involved, like in football compared with research, for example, in the Paralympic sport of blind football. The Blind Football World Championships also took

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Ljudmila Zaletelj

introduction to the Paralympic Games. The chapters are written in a clear and concise manner, and the text is accessible to a range of readers. This volume would be a wonderful asset to anyone who is directly involved in Paralympic sport (for instance, sport administrators, sport managers, coaches, and

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Cristiane B.B. Antonelli, Charlini S. Hartz, Sileno da Silva Santos and Marlene A. Moreno

The Paralympic Games are currently the world’s second largest sporting event, with wheelchair basketball (WCB) being a Paralympic sport since the first edition of Paralympic Games. 1 In addition, according to the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, WCB is considered as one of the most

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Andrew Hammond, Ruth Jeanes, Dawn Penney and Deana Leahy

, his belief that Paralympic sport would become more exclusionary has also eventuated. Howe ( 2008a ) has highlighted how functional classification allowed for a framework of competition that led to the reduction of classes, and the reduction of people with more complex impairments (such as those with

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Scott Douglas, William R. Falcão and Gordon A. Bloom

that were designed on skills and tactics focused on able-bodied athletes ( Cregan et al., 2007 ; Douglas & Hardin, 2014 ). Paralympic sport is growing in participation and popularity, and thus, coaches of athletes with a disability need continuing support and meaningful learning opportunities to

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Javier Yanci, Daniel Castillo, Aitor Iturricastillo, Tomás Urbán and Raúl Reina

. 2016 ; 11 ( 4 ): 552 – 558 . doi:10.1177/1747954116654786 10.1177/1747954116654786 10. Tweedy SM , Vanlandewijck YC . International Paralympic Committee position stand–background and scientific principles of classification in Paralympic sport . Br J Sports Med. 2011 ; 45 : 259 – 269 . PubMed