The International Paralympic Committee mourns the death of “pioneer” Hans Lindström


The International Paralympic Committee (ICC) announced this Friday the death of former Swedish athlete and manager Hans Lindström, who “played a fundamental role in the history of the Paralympic Movement.”

“In addition to helping to create the first Paralympic Winter Games in 1976, Hans innovated with the creation of the first regulations for sport for people with disabilities and, as a Paralympian, defended the rights of para-athletes,” the CPI said in its Web page.

The press release remembered Lindström as a “pioneer” and “fundamental to the creation” of the International Paralympic Committee itself in 1989. And as the IPC's first technical officer, he “developed many of the standards that led to the professionalization” of these modalities.

Andrew Parsons, President of the CPI, offered his condolences: “On behalf of the Paralympic Movement, we are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hans. He was a pioneer, and thanks to his tireless determination and that of his colleagues, the CPI exists today as an organisation. who works for an inclusive world”.

“Hans was deeply committed to the Movement and believed that nothing was impossible. He created new standards for para-sport and, as a Paralympian, never lost sight of the importance of creating a better, richer experience for athletes,” Parsons added.

“He was a strong defender of equality between Paralympic and Olympic athletes, and thanks to him events such as the Paralympic Winter Games were created. The Paralympic Movement and para-sport will always be there in his honor,” said the ICC president .


Born in 1937, Lindström became an elite swimmer in his native Sweden during the 1950s and was a multiple national champion. A traffic accident in 1960 caused the amputation of his leg and since then he dedicated himself to sports for people with disabilities.

In 1970, he was one of the founders of the International Association of Swimming Coaches for the Paralyzed. And in 1976, as a member of the Swedish Sports Organization for the Disabled, he helped organize a winter games for people with amputations or vision problems. This event, held in Ornskoldsvik (Sweden), became the first Paralympic Winter Games.

He himself was a two-time Paralympian and competed in swimming and shooting during the 1976 Toronto Games. In the former he won silver in the 100 m freestyle C and bronze in the 100 m butterfly C. At the 1988 Seoul Games he returned to the pool competing in individual events and achieving silver with Sweden in the 4×100 m AL medley relay.

In 1977 he was elected technical officer of the International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD). “He initiated and led the creation of the first international rule book for amputees, visually impaired people and other people with disabilities,” noted the CPI.

In 1982, he was instrumental in founding the International Coordinating Committee of World Sports Organizations for the Disabled (ICC). A year later he led the ICC delegation that proposed to Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to include sports for people with disabilities in the Olympic program.

Also former president of the European Paralympic Committee (EPC), Lindström ran in 2001 to preside over the ICC and a year later received the Paralympic Order, the highest award of the Paralympic Movement, which then recognized his great contribution to the cause.