Leaving Treadmarkz Across the Universe

Posts Tagged ‘basketball

A Time Machine With Hand Controls, Episode III – The Birth of the Paralympics

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by Treadmarkz

Wheelchair sports. Adaptive sports. Whatever you call it, participating in it has, in part, enriched the lives of millions of disabled people. And just like so many other 20th century advances made by and for the disabled, it came as a result of thousands and thousands of veterans coming home disabled.

-Hopefully we will be able to make lemonade out of the lemon-tree of a war in which we are currently involved-

All political statements aside, on July 28, 1948 the Stoke Mandeville Games were played, organized by Sir Ludwig Guttman, a neurologist at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England as a rehabilitative exercise for WWII veterans injured in combat. This was not recreation. This was a hospital, and this was part of the patient’s rehab program. This was quite an advancement from WWI when a person who lost a leg in combat was pretty much lucky to survive.

The Games consisted of one event, archery (although wheelchair polo, basketball and table tennis were also encouraged by Guttman at the hospital), and were played by just two teams, eight players per side.

The event spread throughout Britain four the next few years, and then in 1952, the Dutch got involved, and by ’53, teams from Canada to Israel took part, bringing with them a glimmer of what would become a truly international event in years to come.

Guttman became the president of the International Sports Organization for the Disabled. He died in 1980.

The Stoke Mandeville Games obviously branched out to include a much wider spectrum of participants, becoming the Paralympics in 1960. Though the Paralympics now coincides with the Olympics every four years, and has spawned the Winter Paralympics in recent years, the Stoke Mandeville Games are still played annually.

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Why I Like Injured Professional Athletes

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by Treadmarkz

I’ve written a bit about my love for the game of baseball. But I just thought of another reason I love baseball season. Because between April and October (football and basketball pick up the slack from November to March) if you watch the news you can be sure to here stories about players who are on the “disabled list” or the DL.
I love the DL stories. Because it is one good example of a news story where the primary focus is, and should be, the person’s disability. As I have said before, I don’t like stories where the headline is “disabled man performs such and such a feat”. I like to see disabled people in the news, but on their own merits, not on the fact that they are disabled and “look what they were able to pull off!”

So the disabled list for Major League Baseball and other sports, takes the heat off us truly disabled people who are just trying to live our lives and accomplish our goals without being held up as heroes for it, and shows other journalists just when it is appropriate to point out disabilities.