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Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the IPC Athletics World Championships.
The word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀθλητής (athlētēs, "combatant in public games") from ἆθλον (athlon, "prize") or ἆθλος (athlos, "competition").
The first modern-style indoor athletics meetings were recorded shortly after in the 1860s, including a meet at Ashburnham Hall in London which featured four running events and a triple jump competition.
The Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) was established in England in 1880 as the first national body for the sport of athletics and began holding its own annual athletics competition – the AAA Championships.
Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.
Originally for men only, the 1928 Olympics saw the introduction of women's events in the athletics programme.
Athletics competitions also took place at other Panhellenic Games, which were founded later around 500 BC.
Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, and is an early forerunner to the modern summer Olympic Games.
In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking, jumping and throwing.
This definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire.