How Disabled Athletes Train For The Paralympic Games

The work behind the training for the Rio 2016 Paralympics

Following the next Olympic Games in Rio, the Paralympics will be from 7th to 18th September, for the first time in Brazil. 4350 athletes, from 176 countries, will be participating on the world stage.

The blind olympic athlete Arjola Dedaj running on athletics  field Among Paralympic Athletes, there will be also Arjola Dedaj, wearing the Italian blue uniform. From Albania origins, Dedaj has been visually impaired from birth, due to a retinitis pigmentosa; the disease gradually worsens, only having the perception of light and dark. Arjola always practiced different sports: dance, baseball, and in 2012 she began Athletics; her specialties are 100 and 200 meters, and long jump, however only competing in her specialty event in Rio. Arjola, albeit working in an agency in Milan, trains every morning and sometimes two afternoons per week. She has recently entered into Fiamme Oro, whom have provided guide athlete, Elisa Bettini (an heptathlon ex-athlete), accompanying Arjola to the next events. It is fundamental, for visually impaired or blind athletes, to train with a personal guide consistently; training together almost 3 to 4 months before the sports competitions.

blind men athletes run 800 meters during Championship of Russia on track and field athletics among the blindThe aim is to create a synergy between them that allows the Paralympic athlete to be free in performing their technical ability. The training always requires a high concentration: the visually impaired athlete must pay attention to technique, to step count and to maintain dynamic balance and postural control to stay within the marked lines; consequently, the nervous system can lose control. For these reasons, it is very important to do periodic evaluations, considering results, feedback and the daily physical efficiency of the athlete. These methods of analyses are necessary to optimize the timing and the periodicity for exercising, in addition to establishing achievable and countable goals. In each session, the workout consists of educating the specific gesture, and also strength and resistance training, varying from functional to specific skills.

Considering this, Technogym created the “Inclusiveline: it is designed to guarantee physical exercise for all people with all kinds of skills and ability, ensuring that no matter what situation, performance and wellness are optimized.

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