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.


Originally known as the 13th International Stoke Mandeville Games and the 2nd Paralympic Games took place in Tokyo, Japan following the Olympic Games. 


The first Winter Paralympic Games were held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden and they were known as the ‘1st Winter Olympic Games for the Disabled’.

Competitions took place in alpine and nordic skiing for amputee and visually impaired athletes, with a demonstration event in ice sledge racing.


The 1984 Paralympic Games were held in both New York and Stoke Mandeville. 

In the UK the Games were for wheelchair athletes with spinal injuries and related impairments.

In New York the Games were for athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees, and those with visual impairment. 


The 2012 London Paralympics was one of the largest, multi-sport events ever held in the UK and the largest Paralympics ever.

The Paralympic Torch relay started at Stoke Mandeville which was recognised by the IPC as the Birthplace of the Movement.

Since 2012 a Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony has taken place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium before every Paralympic Games. 

The London 2012 Paralympic Mascot was named 'Mandeville' as part of celebrating the UK's heritage in starting the Paralympics.

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