Kevin Coombs competed in wheelchair basketball across five Paralympic Games ©IPC

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has introduced PLY post-nominal titles to recognise Paralympians' achievements.

The idea for PLY was put forward as a motion by Paralympics Australia at the 2019 IPC General Assembly and approved by an overwhelming majority.

The motion cited that the introduction of post-nominative letters for athletes who have competed at a Paralympic Games would be "symbolic recognition of their achievement and status in society."

Ragnhild Myklebust and Kevin Coombs were the first two athletes to officially receive the PLY initials.

Norwegian Myklebust holds the record for most medals won at the Paralympic Winter Games with 27, 22 of them gold.

The 78-year-old competed in biathlon, cross-country and ice-sledge speed racing at five Paralympics from 1988 to 2002.

"I feel very honoured to receive this," said Myklebust.

"One of the wonderful things for athletes about having these three letters on our signatures is that people are going to ask, what does PLY stand for?

"For me it is the feeling that I am equal, and I can do what other people do."

Norway's Ragnhild Myklebust has the most Paralympic medals, 22, in history ©IPC
Norway's Ragnhild Myklebust has the most Paralympic medals, 22, in history ©IPC

Coombs was a member of the first Australian Paralympic team that took part in the Rome 1960 Games.

He was Australia's first ever indigenous Paralympian or Olympian and competed in wheelchair basketball and athletics across five Paralympic Games from 1960 to 1984.

"To be the first athlete to receive PLY status is very special to me and my family," said Coombs.

"I already have three letters after my name with my Order of Australia medal, but this goes down with that as something to be immensely proud of."

Paralympians can apply to use the post-nominal letters by completing an online registration form.

"As an athlete-centred organisation, at the IPC we believe it is important to recognise all Para athletes who have devoted years to training and have made huge sacrifices to reach the Paralympic Games, which is the pinnacle sporting event," said IPC President Andrew Parsons.

"To be a Paralympian is to be part of an elite club and only around 28,000 people can claim to be a Paralympian.

"That is why I am thrilled that Kevin Coombs and Ragnhild Myklebust are the first recipients.

"They are an important part of our history, and we must always remember those who set us on this path towards greater inclusion for persons with disabilities."

OLY post-nominal letters are granted to athletes who compete at the Olympic Games after being announced in 2017.