A thousand disabled athletes from 44 countries began competing for "Olympic" medals in Heidelberg, West Germany on Thursday (3 August).
GV Crowd gathered for games.
GV Australian participants parade.
GV People applaud
GV Brazil participants followed by Canada (2 shots)
GV French participants.
SCU Spectator taking photograph
GV Japanese team followed by Kenya and Korea.
GV Crowd applaud.
GV PAN Start and finish of wheelchair race.
MV PAN Javelin competition.
GV PAN Shotput competition.
GV ZOOM OUT Discus competition.
GV & CU Archery competition (2 shots)
GV & MV Fencing competition. (2 shots)
Initials VS/3.11 VS/3.23
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Background: A thousand disabled athletes from 44 countries began competing for "Olympic" medals in Heidelberg, West Germany on Thursday (3 August). The occasion is the 21st "Wheelchair Olympics" -- officially known as the International Stoke Mandeville Games -- in which paraplegics strive for sporting honours.
West German President Gustav Heinemann officially opened the games on Wednesday (2 August). The competition, being held four weeks before the Olympic Games in Munich, will last until 9 August.
The entry of a thousand competitors this year is the largest ever. When the first paraplegic games were held at Stoke Mandeville, England, in 1948, there were only 16 competitors. The idea of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, considered the father of modern paraplegic treatment, the games take place annually in Stoke Mandeville, except in Olympic years.
The games became international in 1952, which is why the present competition is regarded as the 21st games. The athletes compete in the discus, archery, shot put, javelin, wheelchair obstacle race (slalom), wheelchair sprint, swimming, table tennis, fencing, weight-lifting, bowls, snooker and basketball.
SYNOPSIS: The ancient university city of Heidelberg, in West Germany, is the site of this year's "Wheelchair Olympics." A thousand disabled athletes from forty-four countries took part in Wednesday's opening ceremony. It is officially known as the Twenty-first Annual Stoke Mandeville Games, in which a paraplegics strive for sporting honours. The games were the idea of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, considered the father of modern paraplegic treatment. First held in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville, England, the games became international in 1952, which is why the present competition is regarded as the twenty-first. The entry of a thousand competitors this year is the largest ever. The "Wheelchair Olympics" take place annually in Stoke Mandeville, except in Olympic years. West German President Gustav Heinemann, patron of this year's games, officially opened them on Wednesday, after the traditional parade of national teams. The events are being held on the Heidelberg University fields and at a newly-erected National Sports Institute.
The wheelchair sprint was one of the first events on Thursday, with competition scheduled through the ninth of August. The disabled athletes will be competing in any of thirteen events.
Among other events, the javelin.....
....fencing. With the Olympics in Munich in four weeks time, these sportsmen perhaps epitomise the Olympic spirit.