Stephanie Wheeler (born in Norlina, North Carolina on January 16, 1981) is an American wheelchair basketball player who was on two gold-medal winning Paralympic teams. She also played on the gold medal winning team at the 2007 Para-Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro. She received her degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois and is working on her doctorate in sports education from the University of Alabama. As of 2010 she is the head-coach of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team.
The Paralympic Games is a major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The Paralympics have grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The Summer Paralympic Games or the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event, where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.
The United States and The United Kingdom have hosted two Summer Paralympic Games each, more than any other nation. Other countries that have hosted the summer Olympics are Australia, Canada, China, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain and West Germany. In the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Rio de Janeiro will host the first Summer Games in South America. No cities have hosted two Summer Paralympic Games.