The International Abilympics (IA), otherwise known as Olympics of Abilities for persons with Disabilities, traces its beginning in Japan in 1972 when Abilympics - an annual national skill competition for the disabled persons - was organized by the Japanese Association for the Employment of the Disabled (JAED). The first international conteset was initiated by Japan in cooperation with Rehabilitation International (RI) in 1981. This is in line with the United Nations' declaration of the same year as the International Year of Disabled Persons.
The 2nd International Abilympics (1985) in Bogota, Columbia paved the way for the founding of the International Abilympics Federation (IAF) through the deligence of RI President Harry Fang. The IAF led the organization of the 3rd International Abilympics in Hongkong in 1991 where 2,000 participants from 83 countries came in for the competition and the accompanying events. As added highlights, the IAF introduced the leisure and living skill contest.
Perth, Australia got the privilege to organize the 4th International Abilympics in 1995 participated in by 2000 individuals.
After Austria backed out of its bid to host the 5th International Abilympics, the Czech Republic took hold of the honor to host the event in the historic city of Prague. An estimated 2,500 delegates from 21 countries attended the contests, conferences and accompanying events.