Coined after the term “Olympics of Abilities”, the International Abilympics is a world-wide competition that showcases vocational skills of persons with disabilities in skilled trade and technology areas. The first International Abilympics (IA) was held in Tokyo, 1981, followed by the 2nd in Colombia, 1985. During this event it was proposed that an international organization be established to promote the games and hold it on a regular basis.
The International Abilympics Federation (IAF) was subsequently born during the 3rd IA held in Hong Kong. Since then, the IA has taken place in Perth, Australia (1995), Prague, Czech Republic (2000), Delhi, India (2003) and Shizuoka, Japan (2007). It was during the 7th IA in Japan that it was held for the first time in conjunction with the WorldSkills competitions; the banner read “International Skills Festival for All, Japan 2007.”
In October, 2008 the newly formed Abilympics Canada Association (ACA) was accepted into the IAF. In 2011 the International Abilympics took place in Seoul, South Korea with the first ever Abilympics Team Canada in attendance. The team consisted of 8 competitors from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Additionally, Canada sent judges for photography (studio), cake decorating, and painting. It was incredible to have our country represented at this prestigious event.
Click here for a look at the first members of Team Canada.
For more information on the 8th International Abilympics in Seoul, please visit their website.