Brief History Of The Paralympic Games Rehabilitation To Mega Sport

Around 160 countries are expected to participate during this year’s Rio 2016 Paralympic games involving around 4,350 athletes competing in 528 medals across 22 sports. This represents an 11-fold increase in the number of athletes participating from 400 in 1964’s Tokyo games. The number of countries represented at the games have increased between 1964 and 160. Moreover, in the last two years, participation played has been increased 2.5 times, from nine to 22.

The Games have therefore changed from an event that was exclusively for athletes using wheelchairs, to now embracing 10 different impairment categories which comprise the classification system of athletes for games.

The summer Paralympics are now a major television audience. London 2012 had the 3.8 billion-person television audience. The event also has a growing popularity through social networks. In London 2012 for instance it was reported that 1.3 million tweets were tagged “Paralympic”.

We all wait for the official opening of Rio 2016 Paralympic games, the majority of those watching may not be aware of the story behind how this multi-disability, multi-sport mega event has grown from a one-man concept of using sports to aid in rehabilitation and to become the world-class event it is today.

Dr. Ludwig Guttmann And The Origins Of The Paralympic Games

World War II was an abysmal experience for the human race, not only in terms of the number of people killed but also in terms of the number of victims of injuries that resulted in permanent disability.

The Paralympic games are the direct consequence of the people who suffered spinal injuries in the second world war as well as the advancements in medical care which resulted in greater survival rates and increased life expectancies.

It also meant that there was a higher demand for rehabilitation. People who suffered spinal injuries who were in their early twenties could be alive until the age of 60. It was also a moral as well as economic requirement to ensure they were contributing and actively involved people in society.

One of the solutions in this regard was the expansion of the Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England. It was led by the pioneering Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, who quickly established a reputation for ingenuity and methods not only in the field of medical rehabilitation, but also by motivating people suffering from spinal cord injuries.

Guttmann’s Methodology Paralympic

A key element in Guttmann’s methodology was the inclusion of sports in the rehabilitation program and quickly morphed into a wheelchair-based sport competition. It was initially among wards, in which soldiers and women, that were competitive by nature enjoy the physical stimulation which competition gave.

After a couple of years of progress, as shown in the movie The Best of Men, it was on the 28th of July 1948 when it was that the Stoke Mandeville Games were first held

Since the announcement of the games Guttmann had a vision of how wheelchair sport could evolve in the coming years. sports that was beyond Stoke Mandeville. He plan the games to be play simultaneously with London’s 1948 London Summer Olympic Games.

These humble initial beginnings, of an archery tournament. Which had male and female competitors led to the development of the annually held Stoke-Mandeville Games. It was the first time that internationalisation took place for the competition took place in 1952. When participants of Holland received invitations to participate the competition in table tennis, archery darts, snooker and darts.

Eight years after, Rome was the first city other than Stoke Mandeville to host the games. But, it wasn’t till Tokyo 1964 when the name Paralympics was officially use.

The table below shows cities hosting this year’s Summer Paralympic Games from 1960 until the year 2016. The table also outlines the development of Paralympic Games. In terms of the total number of athletes gender breakdown. Gender proportion and percentage in terms of the number of nations participating.

The Games Change As The Games Progress

From 1960 until 1984 In the years 1960-84, just the two Paralympic Games held in the same city. That hosted they were the Olympic Games: Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964. But there was no formal association among the committees that arranged the games of the two games. Nor with both the International Olympic Committee and the organisations that represented the Paralympic movement at the time.

In 1988 in 1988, it was 1988 when the Paralympic as well as. The Olympic Games both held in Seoul, Korea. The organizing committees that hosted the games in the very first instance. Made sure they had Paralympic athletes were competing at the same locations. Except houses that belonged to different villages as did the Olympic Games. They also had the same style of opening and closing ceremonies. For many the fans, these Games are the beginning of Modern Paralympic Games.

In 1989, a year after the initial meeting The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was create. Officially which brought together four distinct disability-specific organizations. That were previously represent by the International Co-Coordinating Committee Sports for the Disabled.

This significant move in the direction of the IPC could forge closer ties with the IOC and cities. That host the games and their organising committees. In the years since Barcelona 1992, Barcelona 1992 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There has been an even more energize operational collaboration. This has led to the Paralympic games being held three weeks following that Olympics locate in Barcelona. And using the same sports village and venues that were use for the Olympics.