DUSHANBE, August 22, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- Powerlifter Parviz Odinayev will represent Tajikistan at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

According to Tajikistan’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), Parviz Odinayev has qualified for the 2012 London Paralympic Games, finishing second in his weight division in the Paralympic qualifying tournament in Dubai.

The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place between August 29 and September 9.  They will be held in London, United Kingdom, after the city was successful with its bid for the Paralympics and Summer Olympic Games.  It is the second largest multi-sport event ever held within the United Kingdom after the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Games will be the first modern Paralympics solely hosted by the United Kingdom; the 1984 Summer Paralympics were originally intended to be hosted by the United States at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, but due to financial issues, the university passed on hosting the games shortly before they were set to begin, leading to the British village of Stoke Mandeville and the American region of Long Island quickly stepping in to co-host the games.

Stoke Mandeville also played an important role in the history of the Paralympics; in 1948, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann and the Stoke Mandeville Hospital first held the Stoke Mandeville Games, an event for British World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries to coincide with the opening ceremony of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.  The Stoke Mandeville Games were the first ever organized athletics event for the disabled, and served as a significant precursor to the Paralympic movement as a whole.

London 2012 is expected to be the “biggest Paralympic Games ever.”  An estimated total of 4,200 athletes are expected to compete in the Games, an increase of 250 athletes in comparison to the 2008 Summer Paralympics.  They will represent 165 countries, 19 more than in Beijing.  Fifteen countries will be making their Paralympic Games début; including Antigua and Barbuda, Brunei, Cameroon, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, North Korea, San Marino, the Solomon Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago will be returning to the Games for the first time since 1988.