Today the Paralympic Games is the World's biggest sports event for disabled athletes.  

Over 4,000 athletes will compete in 539 events across 22 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games


On 29 July 1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, Dr. Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games, a milestone in Paralympic history. They involved 16 injured service personnel, 14 men and 2 women who competed in archery. There were two teams, a team of patients from Stoke Mandeville and a team from the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond, Surrey (where a special paraplegic ward had been established in conjunction with Dr Guttmann). The Royal Star and Garter team won these inaugural games.


Dutch veterans travelled to Stoke Mandeville to participate in the first International Stoke Mandeville Games. 


In 1956 the Games were affiliated with the International Olympic Committee and were awarded the Fearnley Cup. USA, Australia, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa and  Malaya were among the 18 countries competing in the international games.


The 9th annual International Stoke Mandeville Games were held in Rome, Italy - the first time the event was held away from Stoke Mandeville. 

Now regarded as the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games, the competition took place six days after the Closing Ceremony of the XVII Olympic Games.

The Games involved 400 Para athletes from 23 countries who competed in 57 medal events across eight sports. 

The Great Britain team of 29 men and 13 finished second behind Italy in the medal table, winning 20 gold, 15 silver and 20 bronze medals.

Margaret Maughan, a Stoke Mandeville patient, was the first British gold medal winner.  Since then over 2,000 athletes have had the honour of representing Great Britain at a Paralympic Games.







z-Fundraising Regulator Logo