In the mid 1940s, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann — a Jewish refugee who escaped Nazi Germany and settled in the U.K. — pioneered radical approaches to treating paralyzed people. Before Guttmann, such individuals basically were left to die in medical facilities. Guttmann took a very different approach, insisting the patients become as physically active as possible. He eventually realized they would benefit enormously from engaging in athletic competitions such as archery, javelin throw, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair races, to name just a few. Thanks to Dr. Guttmann, the Paralympic Movement and Paralympic Games were born and have continued to expand worldwide.
Learn more about Dr. Ludwig Guttmann on Wikipedia. >>
Watch a brief video documentary [3:31] about Dr. Guttmann and the founding and enormous growth of the Paralympics. >>