World Wheelchair and Amputee Games
Learn more about World Wheelchair and Amputee Games
The World Wheelchair and Amputee Games, formerly known as the Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, the Stoke Mandeville Games, and the World Wheelchair Games, are a multi-sport, multi-disability athletic competition for athletes with a disability.
The Games were originally held in 1948 by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who organized a sporting competition involving World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries at the rehabilitation hospital in Stoke Mandeville, England. In 1952, the Netherlands joined in the games, creating the first international competition for the disabled. In 1960, the Ninth Stoke Mandeville Games were held in Rome, Italy, following that year's Olympic Games. These are considered to be the first Paralympic Games.
While the Paralympic Games evolved to include athletes from all disability groups, the Stoke Mandeville games continued to be organized as a multi-sport event for wheelchair athletes. Games were held annually in Stoke Mandeville under the direction of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), which became the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation (ISMWSF).
In 1999, the first World Wheelchair Games were held outside England, in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2003, the Games were again held in Christchurch, and combined with a competition for amputee athletes organized by the International Sports Organization for the Disabled. In 2004, ISMWSF and ISOD merged to create the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS). The first IWAS World Wheelchair and Amputee Games were held in 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The next Games will be held in 2007 in Chinese Taipei.