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Science and the Paralympic movement
  1. Walter R Thompson1,
  2. Yves C Vanlandewijck2
  1. 1College of Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Walter R Thompson, College of Education, Georgia State University, 30 Pryor Street, Suite 1024, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA; wrthompson{at}

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Between May 1 and 4 of this year, scientists, athletes, coaches and sport administrators came together in Bonn, Germany for the VISTA2013 Conference. VISTA is held every 2 years in an attempt to have substantial conversations about a topic chosen by the organisers, the Sports Science Committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Previous VISTA Conferences have included topics on athlete classification, sport performance, women in sport, the athlete with high-support needs, looked at from different disciplinary perspectives. VISTA2013 had the theme ‘Equipment & Technology in Paralympic Sports’. It was a particularly important topic because of the recently accelerated advancements such as in carbon fibre running prostheses (blades) and racing wheelchairs.

Keynote speakers for VISTA2013 included Brendan Burkett who is a member of the IPC Sports Science Committee and professor in Biomechanics at the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering of the University of the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Australia who spoke on Paralympic sporting equipment: Performance enhancement …

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  • Competing interests WRT and YCV are members of the IPC Sports Science Committee and editors ofThe Paralympic Athlete(

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.