The start of the Paralympics movement in Azerbaijan coincides with the socio-political stability period, which was result of the return to power of National Leader of Azerbaijan Haydar Aliyev. February 9, 1996 has been dubbed in the sport history as the Day of the Establishment of the National Paralympics Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On that very day, the founding congress of the National Paralympics Committee has been organized. The Congress has elected Mr. Ilgar Rahimov as the President of the Committee and Mr. Afig Suleymanov as the General Secretary.
For the first time in our history, the Azerbaijan National Paralympics Committee has participated in the X Atlanta Summer Paralympics Games in 1996 with two athletes representing two sports. National Leader Haydar Aliyev has met with the para-athletes before their trip to Atlanta, and wished them successes in the Games.Our National Leader Haydar Aliyev and President of the National Olympics Committee Ilham Aliyev have met with the para-athletes training for the Sydney Paralympics Games 2000. During that time, the National Leader has decreed to build a Paralympics Sports Complex in Sumgayit City for the athletes, which would meet all the international standards. These two events have played special role and gave way for the great positive developments in the sporting industry of our country.
Since then the Paralympics Movement’s growth became fast developing. One of the main reasons for this was the election of Ilham Aliyev as the President of the National Olympics Committee, who successfully builds on the policies of the national leader. The achievements of the Azerbaijani sport industry are visible to everyone, which reflect the successful policy of Ilham Aliyev. On that perspective, the para-athletes have also been part of this success story and special care to these athletes resulted in numerous achievements. It is not surprising that Mr. Ilham Aliyev once said that he is best friend of para-athletes. Around the same time, the election of the president of the National Paralympics Committee to the Executive Board of the National Olympics Committee provided great example of organizational unity and support.
On August 28, 2008 the official opening ceremony was organized for the occasion of the Sumgayit Paralympics Sport Complex. It is worth to mention that this sport complex was the first of its kind in the CIS and it was built according to highest international and quality standards. President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev and the First Lady of Azerbaijan Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva have participated in the opening ceremony.
Currently, the Paralympics Committee joins together hundreds of athletes. As a result of sound policies the para-athletes have achieved lots of successes since 1996.