The Paralympics are elite sport events for athletes from six different disability groups (spinal cord injury, amputee, visually impaired, cerebral palsy, les autres, and mentally Handicapped).
The Paralympic Games have always been held in the same year as the Olympic Games. Since the Seoul Summer Games (1988) and the Albertville Winter Games (1992) they have also taken place at the same venues as the Olympics.
In October 2000, on the occasion of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, an Agreement of Co-operation was signed by the IPC and IOC, which outlined the principles of the further relationships between the two organizations. This represented a significant development in the IOC's support for sport for athletes with a disability.
A further Agreement was signed in June 2001, aimed at protecting the organization of the Paralympic Games and securing the practice of "one bid, one city", meaning that when biding for the Olympics, the Paralympics are automatically also bid for. The Agreement addresses the general scope and organization of the Paralympic Games, with the aim of creating similar principles for the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This Agreement comes into effect beginning with the Beijing 2008 Paralympic (summer) Games and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
However, the organizing committee of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Games chose to immediately make use of this constellation and Athens 2004 and Torino 2006 have followed the successful example of having one organizing committee for both Games.