7 hardcore Paralympic events that you really need to watch

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The Olympics may be over with for another four years, but the Paralympics is only just getting started.

While there are plenty of events in the Olympics that also crop up in the Paralympic Games, there are also a bunch of new events, too — each of them more badass from the last.

From the hectic world of wheelchair rugby to the skill and precision of goalball, we've rounded up some of the events you need to watch this year.

1. Wheelchair rugby

Wheelchair rugby is a pretty uncompromising sport.

Wheelchair rugby is a pretty uncompromising sport.

Image: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Think Mad Max: Fury Road but with fewer flaming guitars and even more crashes. Wheelchair rugby basically involves teams powering around an indoor court — which comes complete with a painful-looking wooden floor — in specially re-enforced, custom-made wheelchairs (they even have a front bumper to to help players crash into opponents).

The games are fast-paced, impacts between chairs are encouraged, and there are plenty of wince-worthy moments that prove the sport is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Here are some (fairly brutal) highlights from the London 2012 games:

Wheelchair rugby begins Sept. 14 and finishes Sept. 18.

2. Boccia

You have to have really, really good aim to win at Boccia.

You have to have really, really good aim to win at Boccia.

Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Played by competitors in wheelchairs who have neurological conditions, Boccia is another game that's unique to the Paralympics. Similar to bowls, it basically involves athletes launching coloured balls at a jack (the closest person/team to the jack wins).

The game involves a hell of a lot of skill, accuracy and tactics (you can aim for the jack or you can aim to knock an opponent's ball out of the way, for instance), and all in all the event is probably one of the tensest to watch.

Boccia begins Sept. 10 and finishes Sept. 16.

3. Wheelchair tennis

Here's a shot from the London 2012 bronze medal match.

Here's a shot from the London 2012 bronze medal match.

Image: AP Photo/Raissa Ioussouf

This one must require an insane amount of upper body strength.

Wheelchair tennis is similar to the tennis played in the Olympics, with the main difference to the rules being that the ball is allowed to bounce twice.

It's fast-paced and tactical, and players have to have super-speedy reactions to anticipate where the ball's going to land.

Wheelchair tennis began Sept. 9 and finishes Sept. 16.

4. Powerlifting

That is a lot of weight.

That is a lot of weight.

Image: EMPICS Sport

Weightlifting in the Paralympics is pretty different from the weightlifting events in the Olympics. In the latter, athletes do the ol' snatch, clean and jerk to raise a loaded bar over their heads; in the former, however, they do something called "powerlifting".

Basically, Paralympic powerlifting involves competitors lying on their backs and bench-pressing as much weight as they can. It's a tense event to watch, and it's even more interesting if you fancy yourself as a bit of a gym buff; although not that many casual gym-goers will have tried a clean and jerk, plenty will have given the bench press a go.

For context, in the lightest women's category (40kg) at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the winning woman benched 109kg. The heaviest amount pressed, meanwhile, was in the +100kg men's competition, where Siamand Rahman of Iran managed a whopping 280kg.

Powerlifting began Sept. 8 and finishes Sept. 14.

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2016 Paralympic Opening Ceremony
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. A performer takes part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. A performer interacts with a robotic arm during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. A performer interacts with a robotic arm during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Fireworks erupt during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Brazilian Paralympic runner Marcia Malsar continues carrying the torch after falling as rain falls during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Confetti falls during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. An athlete from Palestine takes part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. The cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Clodoaldo Silva carries the torch during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Pool 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. The Brazilian (L) and Paralympic flags are raised during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Fireworks go off the opening ceremony. TSRIO2016 REUTERS/Jason O'Brien 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Fireworks erupt during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. TSRIO2016 REUTERS/Jason O'Brien
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. TSRIO2016 REUTERS/Jason O'Brien 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. National flags are seen during the opening ceremony. TSRIO2016 REUTERS/Jason O'Brien 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. A performer in a wheelchair takes part in the opening ceremony. TSRIO2016 REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes march into the arena during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium. REUTERS/Bob Martin/Pool 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Clodoaldo Silva lights the flame during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Clodoaldo Silva lights the flame during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Clodoaldo Silva carries the torch during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, speaks during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Performers take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jason O'Brien 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Poland take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Brazil take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes T
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Vietnam take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from North Korea take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes F
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Brazil take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Brazil take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from France take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Spain take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Iraq take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Taiwan take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Britain take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Australia take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 
2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from China take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes 
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5. Wheelchair fencing

Blink and you'll miss it.

Blink and you'll miss it.

Image: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

This one's all about extreme speed and upper-body dexterity. Competitors have their chairs fixed to the ground so they're rooted to the spot, and the only thing they can do is dodge using their torso, deflect opponent's blows and probe for weaknesses using their own weapon.

It's definitely one of those events that moves so quickly it's sort of hard to tell what's going on sometimes, but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch.

Wheelchair fencing begins Sept. 12 and finishes Sept. 16.

6. Goalball

Goalball players rely only on sound.

Goalball players rely only on sound.

Image: AP Photo/Sang Tan

Another sport that's unique to the Paralympic Games, Goalball involves blind athletes (and visually impaired athletes using eyeshades) attempting to throw a ball into their rival team's goal. The thing is, the ball in question is embedded with bells, and players have to rely solely on the sound it makes in order to defend.

If you think that sounds simple, just wait until you see how fast the game is played and how quickly those balls come flying at the players.

Goalball began Sept. 8 and finishes Sept.16.

7. Wheelchair basketball

Wheelchair basketball can get pretty physical.

Wheelchair basketball can get pretty physical.

Image: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

This one combines the agility and strength needed for wheelchair tennis with the brutal, no-holds-barred nature of wheelchair rugby.

Athletes use custom-made wheelchairs that vary depending on their position in the game (so players who are closer to the nets have higher chairs to increase reach, while players travelling more distance across the centre ground use lower chairs to help with their centre of gravity).

Wheelchair basketball began Sept. 8 and finishes Sept. 17.

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