After a five year hiatus the Paralympics is back and GB's 228 strong team has plenty of medal opportunities, with podium topping performances already rolling in. 

Paralympians are divided into different classifications dependent on their level of impairment to ensure fair competition. 

But not all competitors have disabilities...

In many events, guides and pilots form a team with visually impaired athletes to be their eyes on the track. 

Here's what you need to know about Paralympic guides and pilots...

What are guides and pilots?

Guides and pilots are often used by athletes with visual impairments in events such as cycling and athletics.

In cycling, pilots and athletes ride tandem bikes, with the pilot mainly in charge of steering while the athlete provides the power.

However, pilots must be able to match their athlete's power and speed to ensure they don't slow them down. 

Meanwhile, the guides on the athletics track are tethered to their athletes at the wrist or hand.

There are lots of rules regarding guides, for example, on the track the guide must not be considered to pull their athlete along, and the athlete must cross the line first. 

Guides will communicate with their athletes throughout the race to keep them updated on position and time. 

It's not an easy partnership, and requires intense practice to ensure both athletes are in tune with each others movements.

Guides are often athletes who themselves are training for the Olympics or other major events. 

They may be in the early stages of their careers for example, or have just missed out on selection. 

Do guides and pilots win medals?

Yes, if an athlete with a guide or pilot wins an event, both will receive a medal. 

However, this hasn't always been the case. 

Before 2012, pilots were the only able-bodied athletes who could win medals at the Paralympics. 

At London, this was extended to include running and football guides, and this remained the case in Rio and now in Tokyo.

The athlete and guide are very much a team, working closely together to perform to the best of their ability.