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The Sleep Parameters of Paralympic Athletes: Characteristics and Assessment Instruments

Isadora Grade, Henrique Andrade, Renato Guerreiro, Eduardo Stieler, Flavia R. da Silva, Hesojy G.V. da Silva, Roberto Vital, Renan A. Resende, Dawit A.P. Gonçalves, André G. Andrade, Marco T. de Mello, and Andressa Silva

recognized as the second largest sporting event in the world and the largest sporting event for people with disabilities, 26 resulting in increased competition between teams. Therefore, Paralympic athletes train at high intensities on a daily basis in order to achieve high levels of performance; however

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Psychological Preparation for Paralympic Athletes: A Preliminary Study

Boris Blumenstein and Iris Orbach

Since the first Paralympics in 1960 there has been an increase in social and scientific interest in Paralympic athletes’ personality, their preparation, and their sport results. During the last 20 yr, researchers and practitioners have been focused on psychological-skills programs for athletes with disabilities. The purpose of this article was to describe a psychological-preparation program for Israeli Paralympic athletes. Two subprograms, the learning-modification-application approach and the Simulation Training Exercise Program, were adapted to athletes’ disability and sport demands. Two case studies, from table tennis and sailing (Sonar 3-person keelboat), are described to demonstrate how systematic sport psychology preparation can be effectively integrated into the training process of Paralympic athletes. Some recommendations for Paralympic athletes are presented.

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Sleep Quality in Team USA Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

Travis Anderson, Natalia Galan-Lopez, Lee Taylor, Eric G. Post, Jonathan T. Finnoff, and William M. Adams

currently a paucity of data on differences in sleep quality between elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes, despite a high prevalence of sleep concerns in the latter population. 21 Both intervarying and intravarying sleep needs contribute to the difficulty in improving athlete sleep and imply an

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Seasonal Changes in Breathing Pattern, Trunk Stabilization, and Muscular Power in Paralympic Swimmers

Luca Cavaggioni, Athos Trecroci, Damiano Formenti, Luke Hogarth, Massimiliano Tosin, and Giampietro Alberti

increase in biomotor abilities (e.g., muscle power) over time reaching a peak value close to the main international competition in Paralympic athletes ( Loturco et al., 2015 ). During a seasonal plan, top-level swimmers showed a progressive distribution of volume and intensity-training variables ( Mujika

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Diet Quality Profile of Track-and-Field Paralympic Athletes

Daniel P. Joaquim, Claudia R. Juzwiak, and Ciro Winckler

This study aimed to assess the diet quality of Brazilian Paralympic track-and-field team sprinters and its variation between days. All sprinters (n = 28) were invited, and 20 (13 men and seven women) accepted the invitation consisting of 13 athletes with visual impairment, four with cerebral palsy, and three with limb deficiency. The dietary intake was recorded by photographic register on four consecutive days, and diet quality was determined using a revised version of the Healthy Eating Index for the Brazilian population. Physical activity was assessed using an accelerometer, and metabolic unit information was used to classify exercise intensity. Variance Analysis Model and Bonferroni multiple comparisons were used to assess relationships between variables. The correlations between variables used Pearson linear correlation coefficient. The results show that revised version of the Healthy Eating Index score was classified as “needs to be modified” for all athletes. The maximum score for the components “Whole fruits,” “Total vegetables,” and “Dark green and orange vegetables and legumes” was achieved by 23.1% and 14.3%, 7.7% and 14.3%, and 46.2% and 57.8% of male and female athletes, respectively. Only 38.5% of the male athletes achieved the maximum score for the “Total cereal” component. Female athletes achieved higher scores than male athletes for the “Milk and dairy products” component (p = .03). Intake of whole grain cereals, dairy products, vegetables, and whole fruits needs modifications to improve adequate intake of vitamins and antioxidants, highlighting the need of continuous actions of nutrition education for this population.

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Addressing Circadian Disruptions in Visually Impaired Paralympic Athletes

Travis Anderson, William M. Adams, Geoffrey T. Burns, Eric G. Post, Sally Baumann, Emily Clark, Karen Cogan, and Jonathan T. Finnoff

Purpose: Transmeridian travel is common for elite athletes participating in competitions and training. However, this travel can lead to circadian misalignment wherein the internal biological clock becomes desynchronized with the light–dark cycle of the new environment, resulting in performance decrement and potential negative health consequences. Existing literature extensively discusses recommendations for managing jet lag, predominantly emphasizing light-based interventions to synchronize the internal clock with the anticipated time at the destination. Nevertheless, visually impaired (VI) athletes may lack photoreceptiveness, diminishing or nullifying the effectiveness of this therapy. Consequently, this invited commentary explores alternative strategies for addressing jet lag in VI athletes. Conclusions: VI athletes with light perception but reduced visual acuity or visual fields may still benefit from light interventions in managing jet lag. However, VI athletes lacking a conscious perception of light should rely on gradual shifts in behavioral factors, such as meal timing and exercise, to facilitate the entrainment of circadian rhythms to the destination time. Furthermore, interventions like melatonin supplementation may prove useful during and after travel. In addition, it is recommended that athlete guides adopt phase-forward or phase-back approaches to synchronize with the athlete, aiding in jet-lag management and optimizing performance.

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Disabling Prejudice: A Case Study of Images of Paralympic Athletes and Attitudes Toward People With Disabilities

David Welch Suggs Jr. and Jason Lee Guthrie

Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society” by exposing people to adaptive sports, with the goal of improving public views toward people with disabilities. The authors hypothesized that exposure to parasocial contact with images of athletes with disabilities could lead to a change in attitude during the formation of social identity, disrupting the tendency to view the population of individuals with physical disabilities as “other. ” This case study found that viewing a documentary of a Paralympic sprinter produced in the same style as an Olympic feature appeared to affect the emotional components of attitude formation, especially when compared with respondents who viewed a comparable documentary about an able-bodied athlete. These findings are of interest to proponents of adaptive sports, producers of adaptive-sports media, and marketers who use athletes with disabilities in advertising campaigns.

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A Multifactorial Assessment of Elite Paratriathletes’ Response to 2 Weeks of Intensified Training

Ben T. Stephenson, Christof A. Leicht, Keith Tolfrey, and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

athletes regarding markers of physical and/or psychological stress. This topic is of particular relevance as Paralympic athletes may be at greater risk of excessive stress due to physical impairments causing movement inefficiencies, 17 thus heightening the internal load of movement, with impairments

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Career Development and Learning Pathways of Paralympic Coaches With a Disability

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

(five of whom did not have a disability) and found they never intended to coach Paralympic athletes. They began coaching these athletes when an athlete with a disability came to their club asking to be coached. In a similar manner, McMaster, Culver, and Werthner ( 2012 ) interviewed five Paralympic

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Current Technologies and Practices to Assess External Training Load in Paralympic Sport: A Systematic Review

Eduardo Stieler, Marco T. de Mello, Ingrid L.B. Lôbo, Dawit A. Gonçalves, Renan Resende, André G. Andrade, Thiago F. Lourenço, Anselmo A.C. Silva, Henrique A. Andrade, Renato Guerreiro, and Andressa Silva

) response to the athlete. 7 However, considering that the majority (64%) of Paralympic athletes interviewed (n = 144) by Harrington et al 8 reported training ≥11 hours per week, with 34% of athletes reporting missing a competition due to injury and that Fagher et al 9 observed a high incidence of