History of the Paralympics





The Paralympics have come a long way from its humble beginnings as a rehabilitation programme for British war veterans with spinal injuries.

Back in 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttman, a neurologist who was working with World War II veterans with spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, began using sport as part of the rehabilitation programmes of his patients.

He set up a competition with other hospitals to coincide with the London Olympics in that year.

Over the next decade Guttman's care plan was adopted by other spinal injury units in Britain and competition grew.

In 1960, the Olympics were held in Rome, and Guttmann brought 400 wheelchair athletes to the Olympic city to compete. The modern Parallel Olympics (or"Paralympics") were born.



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