The new Paralympic Symbol consists of three elements in red, blue and green – the three colours that are most widely represented in national flags around the world. It is a symbol that is in motion, with three Agitos (from the Latin word “agito”, meaning “I move”) encircling a centre point; emphasizing the role that the IPC has of bringing athletes from all corners of the world together and enabling them to compete. It also emphasizes the fact that Paralympic athletes are constantly inspiring and exciting the world with their performances – always moving forward and never giving up – as embodied in the new Paralympic vision “To Enable Paralympic Athletes to Achieve Sporting Excellence and to inspire and excite the World”.
“Spirit in Motion” is the new Paralympic Motto, expressing the inspirational character of the Paralympic Movement as well as elite performance of Paralympic athletes. It also stands for the strong will of every Paralympian. The word “Spirit” implies that the IPC is not limited to only staging high performance sport, but that there is a strong message behind our Movement. “Motion” on the other hand implies that the IPC is an organization on the move.
The current Paralympic Symbol was created by the internationally renowned agency “Scholz & Friends”, and approved at the IPC Executive Board meeting held in Athens 4 to 6 April 2003, when the Committee decided on a new corporate identity. The previous symbol remained in limited use through the Athens 2004 Paralympics.
The previous symbol incorporated the Tae-Geuk, which is a traditional Korean decorative motif. Tae-Geuks were first used in a symbol at the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, Korea. At that time, the symbol consisted of five Tae-Geuks in a configuration and in colours similar to the Olympic Rings, i.e., blue, black, red, yellow and green.
At the end of the Seoul 1988 Paralympics, the symbol was adopted by the then International Co-ordinating Committee of World Sports Organizations for the Disabled (ICC) and used as a symbol for the co-ordination of the Paralympic Games of the various international organizations of sport for the disabled. When the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was created in 1989, the five Tae-Geuks were incorporated as the symbol of the IPC.
In 1991, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requested that the IPC modify its symbol, if the logo was to be used for marketing purposes. The IOC Marketing Department considered the symbol with five Tae-Geuks too similar to the five Olympic Rings. The configuration of five Tae-Geuks, was allowed to be used at the 1994 Paralympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. A Paralympic Symbol with three Tae-Geuks was officially launched on a worldwide level at the 1994 World Championships in IPC sports. “Mind, Body, Spirit” was adopted as the Paralympic Motto. In 2003, this symbol was replaced by the current one and the new motto officially became “Spirit in Motion”.
Reproduction guidelines for the Paralympic Symbol are outlined in the IPC Standards Manual and can be obtained from the IPC Headquarters.