The Abilympics, a considerable history

A professional skills competition based on
the Olympian model

The concept for the Abilympics was born in 1972 in Japan, drawing inspiration both from the “ Worldskills ” competitions and the Paralympic games.

A contraction of the words Abi-(lities) and (O)-lympics, the name Abilympics refers to a simple association: one of professional skills (abilities) and of an Olympian spirit (Olympics).

Thus was born 45 years ago the idea of organizing a competition dedicated to highlighting the professional skills of persons with disabilities. The first finals took place in Tokyo with the motto “acquiring professional skills opens a path to a brilliant future”.


One will :
Promoting the skills
of persons with disabilities

Having learned from this first experience, Japan organized the first international competition (International Abilympics) in 1981, as a commemoration to the International Year of Persons with Disabilities promoted by the United Nations.

Widely covered by international media, this major event allowed persons with disabilities to display their true potential and their capacity to contribute just as much to the development of our societies through their professional skills.

The success of these first “International Abilympics” led to the organization of a second edition four years later, in Bogota, Colombia. The same year, in 1985, a decision was made to create an international organization to promote and perpetuate the Abilympics movement: the IAF (International Abilympics Federation).

30 years of competition throughout the world