People With Physical Disabilities and Sports

History of Sport for People With Physical Disabilities

We all know the importance of exercising. It comes in many forms, such as walking, doing housework, chasing their children around, or playing various sports. Thus, we all exercise in some way throughout our day and it’s no different for those with a physical disablilty. This article will discuss being active in sports with a physical disability.

As we get ready for the Paralympics of 2022, it is important to note that people with physical disabilities have been actively participating in organized sports for a long time. For example, it is known that the first sports clubs for people with hearing impairment were established in Berlin in 1888. After WWII,  organized sports clubs were used as a recovery tool for soildiers returning home from war with physical disabilities.

In 1944, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann opened a center for spinal cord injury patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. Here, sports for rehabilitation turned into sports for entertainment, and then into competitive sports.

On 29 July 1948, on the opening day of the 1948 London Olympic Games, Dr. Guttmann organized the first competition for wheelchair athletes and called them the Stoke Mandeville Games. With the participation of Dutch veterans in the Movement in 1952, the International Stoke Mandeville Games were started. These games were called the Paralympic Games, which took place in 1960 in Rome, with the participation of 400 athletes from 23 countries. In 1976, the first Winter Games in Paralympic history were held in Sweden, and they continue to be held every four years. Thus, the Olympics for the disabled began to be organized. This showed the whole world that people with a physical disability can do sports.

See you in our next article.