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Let the games begin! Opening ceremony!

The first International Wheelchair Games were organised to coincide with the 1948 London Olympic Games. Held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England with just a few athletes, the events were more about enhancing the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries than about competition.

In 1952, the Games became the International Stoke Mandeville Games (ISMG) when a small team of Dutch war veterans travelled to England to compete against the British athletes.

A deliberate attempt to connect the Olympic and Paralympic Games was not made until 1960 when the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome with 400 athletes from 23 countries participating. Athletes competed in archery, basketball, fencing, javelin, shotput and three swimming events. Since then the Olympic and Paralympic Games have led a parallel existence, being held in the same country or city whenever possible.

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Gold and silver for Sophie Pascoe!