1972 Summer Paralympics (Q1550)

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Paralympic Games cycle
  • 1972 Paralympic Games
  • 1972PSG
  • 1972 Heidelberg (Summer Games)
Language Label Description Also known as
English
1972 Summer Paralympics
Paralympic Games cycle
  • 1972 Paralympic Games
  • 1972PSG
  • 1972 Heidelberg (Summer Games)

Statements

The 1972 Games were the first Paralympic Games that a certain Philip Craven participated in for Great Britain. He took part in athletics,swimming and wheelchair basketball, a sport in which he went on to President of the International Federation for Wheelchair Basketball before taking up his current role as President of the International Paralympic Committee.
Two times Olympic marathon champion Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia, who was spinally injured in a car accident near his home in Addis Ababa in 1969, was entered to compete in the archery St Nicholas Round for tetraplegics in Heidelberg, having competed at Stoke Mandeville in 1971. However, for reasons unexplained the whole of the Ethiopian team failed to arrive in Germany for the Games.
Kenya’s only medal in Heidelberg was a gold medal in the men’s 25 m freestyle class 2 swimming event. It was won by John Britton, who had also won the gold medal for the same event in Tel Aviv four years earlier. However, on that occasion he was swimming for Great Britain and had moved to live in Kenya in the intervening years.
1972
Ludwig Guttmann intervened in the Rhodesia situation, convincing 1972 Games organizers to allow Rhodesian competitors to participate as individual athletes.
1972
"The [German] Foriegn Ministry on the whole seem ready to risk any political unpleasantness that might arise [...]; they think that it would anyway only be slight, since the only African countries participating in the Paraplegic Olympics are Uganda and Ethiopia."
1972
Since African countries largely did not participate in the Paralympics, West Germany decided not to invite controversy by banning Rhodesians from the 1972 Games.
1972
Rhodesian Sandra James won a gold in javelin, a silver in shot put and a bronze in discus. She thought she would be competing at the 1976 Summer Paralympics in Toronto.
1972
The 1972 Summer Paralympic team from Rhodesia was all white. They won 10 medals.
1972
Rhodesian Sandra James said of the 1972 Summer Paralympics, "I was watch the others before me and they were throwing so far that I thought I would never get near them."
1972
Rhodesia probably marched separately into the stadium for the 1972 Summer Paralympics. Whether they used their flag or anthem is unknown.
1972
Rhodesian Sandra James said of the 1972 Summer Paralympics, "We were given a very friendly welcome and seemed to get the biggest cheer at the official opening ceremony."
1972
While Britain was no longer advocating a boycott of Rhodesian participation, they discouraged 1972 Summer Paralympic organized to use the Rhodesian flag or anthem, and refused to allow Rhodesian sportspeople compete as a contingent of Great Britain.