The Paralympic Games is the largest international event for disabled athletes and it is held in the same style as the Olympic Games.

The next Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Milano Cortina, Italy from 6 March through to 15 March 2026.

Currently there are 6 winter Para sports that are contested at the Winter Paralympic Games.

New Zealand has won a total of 237 Paralympic medals (202 Summer and 35 Winter).

Winter sports for disabled athletes gradually developed after World War II, as large numbers of injured soldiers and civilians tried to return to their skiing activities. Early pioneers experimented with skiing using prostheses.

It was in the 1970s that multi-disability skiing competitions started. In 1974, the first world championships were held in Grand Bornand in France, which featured Alpine (Downhill) and Nordic (Cross-Country) skiing for amputee and visually impaired athletes.

The first Paralympic Winter Games were held in 1976 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. There were competitions in Alpine and Nordic Skiing for amputee and visually impaired athletes, and a demonstration event in Sledge Racing.

The success of the first Games led to the second Winter Paralympics in 1980 in Geilo, Norway where New Zealand entered its first Disabled Ski Team.

By the third Paralympic Winter Games in 1984, which were held at Innsbruck, the New Zealand Disabled Ski Team were winning the New Zealand’s first medals in international skiing competition.

From its inception in 1976, these teams were managed and sent to the Paralympic Games by Paralympics New Zealand. With the support of High Performance Sport New Zealand, Paralympics New Zealand and Snow Sports NZ now work very closely to maximise opportunities for the New Zealand team at the Paralympic Winter Games.

The Games have now grown with the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games being the largest Winter Games to date, with 567 athletes from 49 delegations competing across 80 medals events in six Para sports.


2022Beijing, China1124
2018PyeongChang, South Korea1023
2014Sochi, Russia0101
2010Vancouver, Canada1001
2006Torino, Italy0000
2002Salt Lake City, USA4026
1998Nagano, Japan4116
1994Lillehammer, Norway3036
1992Albertville, France2002
1988Innsbruck, Austria0101
1984Innsbruck, Austria1315
1980Geilo, Norway0000
1976Ornskoldsvik, SwedenNew Zealand did not attend