The Paralympics – a mini history

Olympic fever has died down since the closing ceremony but the action here is far from over… The Paralympics are coming up, and these are supposed to be the biggest yet, with the world’s best disabled athletes taking to the stage in London. The Paralympics were started by Ludwig Guttmann, a German doctor working at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital during the Second World War. Dr Guttmann believed in using sports therapy to improve the lives of and motivate those wounded in the war. He held his first International Wheelchair Games in 1948, at the same time as the London Olympics. Twelve years later the first Paralympics were held in Rome. To celebrate the London 2012 Paralympics, the BBC have made a drama telling the story of Dr Guttmann and the origins of his Games, called The Best of Men. It’s very interesting and definitely a good thing to watch before the start of the Paralympics to get more of an idea as to how it started…

– Helena

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