Who was Sir Ludwig Guttmann?
Sir Ludwig Guttmann born on 3 July 1899 was a German-British neurologist who established the Stoke Mandeville Games, the sporting event for people with disabilities (PWD) that evolved into the Paralympic Games, in England. A Jewish doctor, who had fled Nazi Germany just before the start of the Second World War, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of organised physical activities for people with disabilities.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann Biography, Wiki
Ludwig Guttmann was born on 3 July 1899 to a German-Jewish family in Tost, within what was then German-controlled Upper Silesia and is now Toszek in Poland. His family moved when he was three years old to the Silesian city of Königshütte (today Chorzów, Poland) where he passed his Abitur at the humanistic grammar school in 1917 before he was called up for military service.
In 1961, Guttmann founded the International Medical Society of Paraplegia, now the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS); he was the inaugural president of the society, a position that he held until 1970. He became the first editor of the journal, Paraplegia (now named Spinal Cord). He retired from clinical work in 1966 but continued his involvement with sport.
Guttmann suffered a heart attack in October 1979, and died on 18 March 1980 at the age of 80.
|Born||3 July 1899|
Tost, Prussia, German Empire (now Toszek, Poland)
|Died||18 March 1980 (aged 80)|
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
|Citizenship||Germany, United Kingdom|
|Known for||Founding the Paralympic Games|
|Awards||Fellow of the Royal Society|
Google Doodle Honours Ludwig Guttmann
Google honoured Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who founded the Paralympic movement, with a Doodle on his 122nd birth anniversary on Saturday. The illustration was made by Baltimore-based guest artist Ashanti Fortson.
The doodle “celebrates the 122nd birthday of Jewish, German-born British neurologist Professor Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, founder of the Paralympic movement,” the Google Doodle website said.
Ludwig Guttmann Founder Of Paralympics
By 1952, more than 130 international competitors had entered the Stoke Mandeville Games. As the annual event continued to grow, the ethos and efforts by all those involved started to impress the organisers of the Olympic Games and members of the international community. At the 1956 Stoke Mandeville Games, Guttmann was awarded the Sir Thomas Fearnley Cup by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his meritorious achievement in service to the Olympic movement through the social and human value derived from wheelchair sports.
His vision of an international games, the equivalent of the Olympic Games themselves, was realised in 1960 when the International Stoke Mandeville Games were held alongside the official 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Known at the time as the 9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games, and organised with the support of the World Federation of Ex-servicemen (an International Working Group on Sport for the Disabled), they are now recognised as the first Paralympic Games. (The term “Paralympic Games” was retroactively applied by the IOC in 1984.)
In 1961, Guttmann founded the British Sports Association for the Disabled, which would later become known as the English Federation of Disability Sport.
Ludwig Guttmann Honours
As “Neurological Surgeon in charge of the Spinal Injuries Centre at the Ministry of Pensions Hospital, Stoke Mandeville”, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1950 King’s Birthday Honours. On 28 June 1957, he was made an Associate Officer of the Venerable Order of Saint John.
He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1960, and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1966.
On 24 October 2013, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) at the National Spinal Injuries Centre to honour Guttmann’s life and work. As an active member of the AJR, he had served on the board for over 25 years.
On 3 July, 2021, he was honoured by Google with a Google Doodle.