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Europa Medicophysica 1999 December;35(4):219-27

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Paraplegia and sport. From the past to the present

Bizzarini E. 1, Di Benedetto P. 2

1 Institute of Sports Medicine, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy; 2 Rehabilitation Centre, Trieste, Italy


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Nowadays spi­nal ­cord inju­ried ath­letes can prac­tice ­almost all the ­sports dis­ci­plines of the ­able-bod­ied ath­letes. Wheelchair ­sports are rel­a­tive­ly ­recent: ­after the com­ple­tion of the 2nd World War, the ­first Rehabilitation Centre with­in Stoke Mandeville Hospital (Aylesbury) in Great Britain was ­opened, and spi­nal ­cord inju­ried ­patients under­went spe­cif­ic and system­at­ic train­ing pro­grammes. In July 1948, the ­first Stoke Mandeville Sports Games for dis­abled ath­letes ­took ­place dur­ing the open­ings of the Olympic Games in London. The Games for spi­nal ­cord inju­ried ath­letes ­became ­then Olympic Games in Rome in 1960. The Games ­were ­held with­in the Olympic Games for ­able-bod­ied ath­letes, and, ­since ­then, the Games for dis­abled ­were reg­u­lar­ly organ­ised togeth­er ­with the Olympic Games for ­able-bod­ied. Wheelchair ­sports ­have ­involved in the ­last ­decade a grow­ing num­ber of ath­letes ­from var­i­ous coun­tries. In the ­last Paralympics edi­tion in Atlanta, 3195 ath­letes ­from 103 coun­tries ­have par­tic­i­pat­ed and the ­high qual­ity of the com­pe­ti­tions has ­been appre­ciat­ed by a ­large audi­ence.

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