On the roadParalympics

Happy Birthday to the Paralympic Games

So yesterday marked the 70th Birthday of the Paralympics!
The Paralympics were the brainchild of a German born refugee Dr Ludwig Guttman and started at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948.
They have gone on to provide a global stage for the Worlds best Paralympians.
I have been super lucky to work at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 and have without doubt provided me with my happiest moments working in sport!

Thanks Dr Guttman ūüėä

Athletes with disabilities did compete in the Olympic Games prior to the advent of the Paralympics. The first athlete to do so was German American gymnast George Eyser in 1904, who had one artificial leg. Hungarian Karoly Takacs competed in shooting events in both the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics. He was a right-arm amputee and could shoot left-handed. Another disabled athlete to appear in the Olympics prior to the Paralympic Games was Lis Hartel, a Danish equestrian athlete who had contracted polio in 1943 and won a silver medal in the dressage event.[5]

The first organized athletic day for disabled athletes that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. Jewish-German born Dr. Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital,[6] who had been helped to flee Nazi Germany by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) in 1939,[7] hosted a sports competition for British World War II veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. The first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, and were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics.[8] Dr. Guttman’s aim was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities that would be equivalent to the Olympic Games. The games were held again at the same location in 1952, and Dutch and Israeli veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its kind. These early competitions, also known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Paralympic_Games”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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