What Does Factored Time Mean in the Paralympics? Here's Everything We Know

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Mar. 10 2022, Published 5:00 p.m. ET

We're officially declaring 2022 as the year of exhilaration, and we think it just got a bit more exciting due to the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games. The competition is scheduled to last from March 4 to March 13, with over 500 athletes representing 45 National Paralympic Committees.

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During each Paralympic Games, athletes are assigned a class that indicates their impairment(s) and capacity of activity. There are numerous classes in each sporting event, along with a factored time. Wait, what is that? What is factored time in the Paralympics? Here's what we know.

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What is factored time in the Paralympics?

Since the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games are ongoing, we should learn about the diverse systems incorporated into the international events, starting with factored time. According to the International Paralympic Committee, factored time has to do with an athlete's level of impairment. They state that "the higher the degree of impairment, the slower the clock runs."

In terms of alpine skiing, the IPC adds that athletes race off together, and the clock adjusts in real-time, which means that "the clock you see on TV for Para alpine skiing and Para-Nordic skiing is not running in real-time, but at different speeds for each skier according to the factor or percentage assigned to their sport class."

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When it comes to the percentages, let's break it down. If an athlete has a factor of 100 percent, that means they compete with the clock running in real-time; however, if someone else has a factor of 95 percent, the clock moves slightly slower. As we said, the factor is based on the level of one's impairment, and it can dip as low as 80 percent.

As we mentioned earlier, there are different classes for each athlete; so, adjusting the clock with factored time makes the results for distinct classes "comparable without compromising the impact of different types or severity of impairments on competition."

Well, there you have it! That's factored time in a nutshell. Hopefully, you learned something new and valuable about the Paralympics!

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