September 25, 1972

Fullness of Life Restored

JAMA. 1972;221(13):1514-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200260050016

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Twenty-four years ago Sir Ludwig Guttman, a British pioneer in rehabilitation medicine, introduced an innovation into the lives of paraplegic and other handicapped persons that developed into something like an Olympic competition. In 1948, the first international games for paraplegics were held at Stoke-Mandeville, the location of the Stoke-Mandeville Foundation for Aid to the Handicapped. The games became popular, and since that first competition in 1948 they have been held in various parts of the world—in Israel, France, and this year in Germany.

The games, otherwise known as the Stoke-Mandeville Games, have emphasized that quite complicated competitive sports events are not to be excluded from the life of the physically handicapped. Disabled young people in wheelchairs and others on crutches compete in discusthrowing, archery, various forms of ball games, and other competitive sports. The winning of the actual prize gives a great moral boost, not only to the winner but