Printer Friendly
The Free Library
23,383,293 articles and books

Historical overview of the Paralympics, Special Olympics, and Deaflympics.

Anniversaries are a time to reflect on where we have been, celebrate our successes, and address challenges that lie ahead. In North America disability sport has been dominated by three movements--Deaflympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics. These most certainly have leaders, athletes, and coaches deserving of our appreciation and admiration. Disability sport is thriving and vibrant because of their efforts.

In each case organizational structure followed the development of a grass roots movement and, in part, was created to show that participants were able, valuable, and demanded respect. The Deaflympics had their genesis in 1924 and provided a venue through sport to reflect on the deaf culture and how deaf people were viewed as intellectually inferior and linguistically impoverished (Stewart & Ammons, 2001). The Paralympic movement also began, in part, as a response to this perceived need. Robert Jackson, founding President of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association noted that persons who were not disabled would begin to understand that if an individual who is paraplegic could race a mile in seven minutes, or lift 472 pounds in a bench press, that the same individual should be able to work a full eight-hour day (R. Jackson, personal communication, July 30, 1997). Eunice Kennedy Shriver, matriarch of the Special Olympics movement, started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities because she saw they were far more capable in sports and physical activities than others perceived.

A second commonality among the three movements is their relative infancy. The modern Paralympic movement can be argued to have begun in 1988 at the Seoul Summer Paralympic Games with official creation of the International Paralympic Committee in 1989. Special Olympics was formed in 1968 when Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the First International Special Olympics Games in Chicago Deaf sports, meanwhile, had a much earlier genesis in 1924, but in North America it did not become formalized until the 1930s and 1950s with the Canadian Athletic Association of the Deaf in 1957 ( and the Akron Club of the Deaf sponsoring the first national basketball tournament in 1945 (

As a caveat, with any historical review it is difficult to recognize every person and organization who have made significant contributions. Histories of the three organizations are rich in characters and stories, and this is simply a chance to reflect on a few events, personalities, and organizations that have made important contributions.

Deaf Sports

To appreciate the history of Deaflympics, it is important to understand the social and psychological dynamics that lead deaf people to desire competitions against one another. Deaf people possess no physical of mental disability that precludes them from competing with their hearing peers. They come together in their own competitions because "social processes found in Deaf sport are designed specifically to satisfy the physical, psychological, and social needs of deaf individuals" (Stewart, 1991, p. 111). Their inclusion under the rubric of sports for people with disabilities stems from a difference in communication (Ammons, 1990; Ellis 2001).

The precursors to the Deaflympics are the many competitions between deaf teams. In 1888, the first Deaf sport club was established in Berlin (Ojalas, 1995). In the early 1920s, two Deaf men organized the first Deaflympics in Paris (Lovett et al., 2001) and during these Games, the Comite International des Sports Siliencieux (CISS) was founded. In 1979 the name was changed to Comite International des Sports des Sourds, which translates to the International Committee of Deaf Sports. The name of the Games has also undergone changes--World Games for the Deaf in 1967, Deaf World Games in 1999, and Deaflympics in 2001. With this last change "the international Deaf sport community took a major step towards further recognition of its highest level of competition for deaf athletes" (Stewart & Ammons, 2001, p. 45).

There have been several events in the history of Deaflympics that have had an impact on the Games and movement. The first was recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (Eickman, 2001). This was as significant as the first step towards legitimacy in the eyes of the world, not only for the Deaflympics, but also the work of the CISS. Until recently, the Deaf were seen by a majority of society as representing a subpar group of people, and their sign language was not viewed as a legitimate language (Moores, 2001; Stewart, 1991). This situation did not change in the U.S. until the 1970s when a rights movement among Deaf people sought changes in the education of deaf children, the recognition of sign language as a bona fide language, and greater accessibility to society (Jankowski, 1997). Thus, an IOC meeting with CISS in 1951 did much to raise the status of the Deaflympics, and this status was further enhanced in 1955 when the IOC announced its unanimous recognition of the CISS as an International Federation with Olympic Standing (Steadward & Foster, 2003).

The second dominant event was related to hearing level eligibility. For years, a question at CISS Congress meetings was how to define a deaf person. In the Deaf community, any person who has a noticeable degree of hearing loss could be classified as a deaf person. But what is noticeable? In 1979, the CISS settled this issue by requiring all athletes to have a minimum of a 55 decibel hearing loss in their better ear, meaning they would have difficulty understanding speech without the use of hearing aids. Related to this issue was the question regarding the use of hearing aids themselves. In 1983, the CISS declared hearing aids were not to be used during competitions, thus eliminating the potential for teammates to talk to one another or hear directions from coaches. Signing is permitted and is deemed fair for at least two reasons. First, it is a visual language that is accessible to anyone who can see. Second, sign language is the language of the Deaf community and is recognized as the preferred language of communication by most of the athletes. Every deaf athlete who wishes to participate in the Deaflympics can learn to sign; but the reverse is not true in that not every deaf person can learn to speak and benefit from the use of hearing aids.

A third key theme in the Deaf sport history has been the relationship to the Paralympics. In 1985 CISS considered dramatic shift in its history to seek membership with the International Coordinating Committee for the World Organizations of Sports for the Disabled (ICC). CISS agreed and was admitted to the ICC in 1986 and subsequently was a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee in 1989 (Steadward & Foster, 2003). This move, however, immediately, caused problems, especially with respect to self-determination. Past President of CISS, Jerald Jordan (2001) noted that many national ...
 ... Deaf sport organizations which formerly had direct and
 harmonious ties to their national Olympic committees were
 cut off from the linkage and forced into a national sports
 organization, losing their autonomy and suffering reduced
 funding (Jordan, 2001, p. 55-56).

Subsequently, because of these concerns and a number of others such as control over the number of athletes participating in the Paralympic Games and funding for interpreters, CISS chose to withdraw its membership from the IPC (Steadward & Foster, 2003; Stewart & Ammons, 2001). There are now over 80 national Deaf sport organizations and although "these numbers speak clearly to the popularity of the world of Deaf sport at the international level, there is increasing evidence that Deaf sport at the grassroots level is not faring as well" (Stewart & Ammons, 2001, p. 45). These challenges stem from difficulties in recruiting new athletes, the reasons for which are hard to determine but may result from various societal and medical issues. These include the fact that schools for the deaf are becoming less common and even those that still exist typically have fewer students enrolled. This results in fewer extracurricular activities and particularly those for large team sports. Deaf students who attend public schools are more likely to use oral communication, thus making it difficult for them to integrate with other deaf athletes who use sign language at various competitions; if they are even made aware that these opportunities exist (Stewart & Ammons, 2003).

A final issue is the continuing debate as to whether deaf athletes should compete under the Paralympics umbrella, thus taking advantage of economies of scale for hosting large-scale events and potentially increased media exposure. For now, the Deaflympics continue addressing the many benefits noted by Art Kruger, one of the founders of the American Athletic Association of the Deaf (now called the USA Deaf Sports Federation). He saw international competition as an important link for developing friendship, self-esteem, and confidence that reap further benefits when young competitors become members of a local Deaf community and thus contribute to a growing and more effective leadership (from a profile of Kruger in Stewart, 1991). Thus, as long as the Deaflympics continue to take place, there will always be a new generation of deaf leaders.

Special Olympics

On July 8, 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the First International Special Olympics Games at Soldier Field in Chicago, with approximately 1,000 athletes representing 26 States, France, and Canada. The concept for these Games was born in the early 1960s when Shriver started a day camp for people with intellectual disabilities, and at the same time Frank Hayden, a Canadian researcher, challenged why children with intellectual disabilities were less fit then their non-disabled peers. Both Hayden and Shriver saw that individuals with intellectual disabilities were far more capable in sports and physical activities than previously thought, and eventually their mutual interests converged with the creation of Special Olympics (

After 1968 the International Games took place approximately every two years. In 1970 the Games returned to Chicago, in 1972 they moved to Los Angeles, in 1975 to Michigan, and in 1977 the First International Winter Games were held in Steamboat Springs, CO. The movement's popularity and notoriety continued to grow and in 1983, 60,000 spectators attended opening ceremonies cheering on over 4,000 athletes at the Summer Games in Baton Rouge, LA (

Today Special Olympics provide sports training and competitions in 26 official sports for 1,206,655 athletes in over 164 countries (Special Olympics, 2003). Since the first games in 1968, Special Olympics has achieved many significant milestones with appropriate recognition. 1986 was declared the International Year of Special Olympics and it was officially recognized in 1988 by the IOC. Fundraising ventures have also been closely associated with the Special Olympics movement including the Law Enforcement Torch Run beginning in 1987, and the A Very Special Christmas recording started in 1987 with visits to White House during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations (

In 1992 Special Olympics celebrated its 25th Anniversary. World Winter Games were held that year in Salzburg, Austria, the first time Winter Games were hosted outside of North America. In 2000, the first-ever Global Athlete Congress took place in The Hague, The Netherlands, where Special Olympians discussed the movement's future ( In 2003 The World Summer Games were held in Dublin, the first time Summer Games were held outside of the United States and where over 7,000 athletes represented more than 50 counties in 21 sports making it the largest sporting event held that year.

The goal of Special Olympics is twofold: (1) to provide athletes with intellectual disabilities opportunities to experience the excitement and joy of participation in sports, and (2) to enhance physical and social skills, as well as overall health (Siperstein & Hardy, 2001). Divisioning in Special Olympics is the cornerstone of competition and the vehicle for achieving the primary goal of successful sporting experiences. It groups athletes according to age, sex, and ability creating a fair and equitable system in which every effort is made to place athletes where their performance is not more than 10% higher of lower than others in their division (Privett, 1999).

In the late eighties there were criticisms that lower functioning individuals with intellectual disabilities were being left on the sidelines. To address this concern, in 1991 the Motor Activities Training Program (MAPT) was developed by Martin Block to provide comprehensive motor skill and recreation training for individuals with severe disabilities (Paciorek & Block, 1992).

The eighties were also a time in which Special Olympics faced criticism about the segregated nature of program delivery (Orelove, Wehman & Wood, 1982; Orelove & Moon, 1984). Social policies and attitudes were changing, and inclusive practices were being adopted in schools. Special Olympics responded by seeking opportunities for athletes to participate in inclusive environments, and key to these initiatives was the development of the Unified Sports program in 1989. Here, Special Olympians had opportunities to participate on teams with non-disabled peers of approximately the same age and ability. Expected outcomes included increased skills in specific sports, knowledge of rules and sportsmanship, and self-confidence and self-esteem while at the same time promoting greater acceptance by athletes without intellectual disabilities. Often, unified sports teams compete against one another, but they also compete in regular leagues in their communities. In addition to the Unified Sports program, Special Olympics took a leadership role in promoting other inclusive, community-based recreation programs such as those with recreation centers, sports clubs, and the YMCA (Block & Moon, 1992). The most recent initiative is SO Get Into It (Special Olympics Get Into It) a school-based program providing teachers with the tools and resources to introduce Special Olympics to students with and without intellectual disabilities to develop awareness, inspiration, and action (Deckman, 2002).

In 2001, building on a comprehensive strategy, Special Olympics flipped the switch and introduced a new organization. With a new decentralized structure and seven regional offices around the world, Special Olympics is tackling the ambitious goal of reaching 2 million athletes, twice the number currently served, by 2005 (


Prior to World War II, the vast majority of those with spinal cord injuries died within three years following their injury. Following WW II, the medical knowledge regarding spinal cord injuries improved dramatically, which then translated into improved rehabilitation techniques. In 1944, wheelchair sport and recreation were introduced as forms of treatment and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries by Sir Ludwig Guttmann at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England. Within four years, sport as therapy developed into an official competition with the development of the World Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games.

In the U.S. and Canada wheelchair sports were introduced in a similar manner at rehabilitation hospitals, and in 1958 clubs in the U.S. hosted national games. In 1960, the first "Paralympic" Games were held in Rome, and in 1964 the second were held in Tokyo. Robert Jackson, working as an orthopedic consultant with the Canadian Olympic Team witnessed the Games and noted to Guttmann his disappointment with Canada's absence. Guttmann responded by expressing his own feelings regarding the apparent ambivalence shown by the Canadian Paraplegic Association (CPA) towards sport and recreation. In Guttmann's view, the CPA was preoccupied with occupational rehabilitation, while completely ignoring the benefits of sport. Jackson left promising to organize a Canadian team for the 1968 Games in Israel (Pady, 1984).

The international wheelchair sport scene continued to evolve and in 1966, the second Commonwealth Paraplegic Games were held in Kingston, Jamaica. Here, Ben Reimer represented Canada and was named Canadian athlete of the year. Reimer's success motivated a number of Winnipeg natives to approach the organizing committee for the 1967 Winnipeg Pan-American Games to request the inclusion of a wheelchair basketball game (A. Simpson, personal communication, June 3, 1997). Their requests were rebuffed, but they prevailed to host separate games.

In the United States, 1975 was significant in that President Gerald Ford formed the President's Committee on Olympic Sports. The findings from this commission helped create the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which then resulted in the creation of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the coordinating, agency for all amateur sport in the U.S., forcing the USOC to establish the Committee on Sports for the Disabled and to integrate disability sport within its structure (Dunn, 1997). In 2001 U.S. Paralympics was created as a division of the USOC with several disabilities and specific sports under its auspices (

One of the disability sport organizations that develops athletes for the U.S. Paralympic teams is the National Wheelchair Athletic Association founded in 1956 with its name changed in 1994 to Wheelchair Sports USA. The impetus for this organization grew from returning war veterans and during its formative years was funded by the Bulova Watch Company, whose Executive Director Ben Lipton was the Wheelchair Sports USA's Chairman for 25 years ( The United States Association of Blind Athletes was founded in 1976, the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association in 1978 (now named the National Disability Sports Alliance) and the United States Amputee Athletic Association in 1981, which eventually became subsummed by Disabled Sports, USA, along with the Dwarf Athletic Association of America. All are Community-Based Organizations represented by U.S. Paralympics within the USOC.

Organizations like these were also being formalized in Canada, with most created following the hosting of the 1976 Paralympic Games, referred to at that time as the Olympiad for the Physically Disabled and Torontolympiad. The only exception was the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association which was founded in 1967. The Torontolympiad was the first to include athletes with visual impairments and amputations, while athletes with cerebral palsy would not compete in Paralympic Games until 1980 in Arnhem, Holland.

It was the addition of athletes who did not have spinal cord injuries that forced organizers to change the name of the event from the Paralympics to the Olympiad for the Physically Disabled. "The term Paralympics was studiously avoided because it had the connotation of paraplegic games and so was objected to by the amputee and blind athletes" (R. Jackson, personal communication, July 30, 1997). Paralympics would eventually be chosen as the official term, with Para denoting in parallel to the Olympics and not a shortened version of paraplegic.

The Canadian government firmly supported this multi-disability format and began to recognize and support several new national disability sport organizations. These included the Canadian Amputee Sport Association, the Canadian Blind Sport Association, the Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers, and later, the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sport Association.

While the creation of new disability sport organizations and multi-disability games provided more equitable opportunities for persons with disabilities, to the Canadian government they also created a number of logistical challenges. The government thus decided to create one umbrella organization called the Coordinating Committee of Sports for the Physically Disabled (CC-SFD). In 1980, it was renamed the Canadian Federation of Sport Organizations for the Disabled (CFSOD), and in 1989 the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC).

The CC-SFD might not have been created except for political turmoil during the Toronto games. The Canadian federal government's financial commitment for hosting the games was withdrawn at the last minute because of the participation of a South African team and the international ban disallowing their participation because of apartheid policies. The South African wheelchair sports team, however, was racially mixed and for this reason, the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games Federation (ISMWGF) accepted their participation. The Canadian government eventually relented to public pressure and re-allocated its financial commitment to create and support the CC-SFD (Legg, 2001).

In 1980 the Paralympic Games were held in Arnhem, Holland, as Soviet officials hosting the Olympic Games in Moscow claimed to not have citizens with disabilities. In 1984, the Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, while the Paralympic Games were hosted in two separate locations because of last minute organizational challenges. Wheelchair events were hosted in Stoke Mandeville, while the other disability sport groups competed in New York. Of particular significance that year was the hosting of demonstration wheelchair events (800 m/women; 1500 m/men) during the Olympic Games. This was the first time an Olympic Games had included wheelchair athletes.

The Seoul Summer Paralympic Games in 1988 marked the beginning of the modern Paralympic movement, with events held in the same venues for both Paralympic and Olympic competitions. Here the Paralympic movement evolved from a disability-based organization to one that was sport focused. This transition was based on seven key recommendations from 23 motions presented at meetings in 1987 as well as impetus from Juan Antonio Samaranch, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President. These motions then led to the creation of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 1989 with Canadian Robert Steadward named President, a position he retained for 12 years.

In 1996 the Paralympic Games returned to North America with the 1996 Summer Games hosted in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Games were the first to take place under an IOC-IPC cooperation agreement. The Paralympic Games will return to North America in 2010 in Vancouver-Whistler.

The 2000 Sydney Summer Paralympic Games had 3,824 athletes which eclipsed the size of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Summer Games and the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. With this growth have come issues pertaining to athlete recruitment, numbers of classes, the inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities, ensuring equitable opportunities for women and those with severe disabilities, and capitalizing on the strengths of professional staff based at the international headquarters in Bonn, along with the cadre of new and experienced volunteers.


With dedicated, passionate, and visionary leadership from countless volunteers, parents, coaches, officials and staff, Deaf Sport, Special Olympics, and the various sporting organizations making up the Paralympic movement have met numerous goals. Each of these three movements facilitated social change by influencing the public's perceptions and attitudes towards persons with disabilities, and readers should be indebted to those who have dedicated so much to the growth of these movements. Hopefully, the Disability Sport Movement will continue to flourish in the decades ahead.

Selected References

A Brief History of the Canadian Deaf Sports Association. (n.d.) Retrieved November 24, 2003, from

About U.S. Paralympics (n.d.) Retrieved November 24, 2003, from

Ammons, D.K. (1990). Unique identity of the World Games for the Deaf. PALAESTRA, 6(2), 40-43.

continued on page 56

Annotated Bibliography of Disability Sport Materials

Berridge, M.E., & Ward, G.R. (Eds). (1987). International Perspectives on Adapted Physical Activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Includes early look at disability sport-specific research completed by members of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity.

Cordellos. H. (2002). No Limits: Legendary Blind Athlete Leads the Way to New Horizons. Waco, TX: WRS Publishing

Focuses on the life and athletic accomplishments of Harry Cordellos, a blind athlete who participates in marathons, water skiing, snow skiing, and hang gliding.

Davis, R.W. (2002). Inclusion Through Sports: A Guide to Enhancing Sport Experiences. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Skill-based text that uses games and activities derived from six popular disability sports to promote services to students with disabilities in the classroom--and to enrich the traditional physical education curriculum for all students.

DePauw, K.P., & Gavron, S.J. (1995) Disability and Sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Comprehensive text that includes information relative to the organization and delivery of disability sport both nationally and internationally. Broad historical perspective that includes the subcategories of: women in disability sport, sports medicine, classification, and research.

Doll-Tepper, G. (Ed.). (1998). Ancient Traditions and Current Trends in Physical Activity and Sport. Berlin, Germany: ICSSPE/CIEPSS

Includes database for international disability sport organizations.

Doll-Tepper, G., Kroner, M., & Sonnenschein, W. (Eds.). (2002). New Horizons in Sport for Athletes with a Disability : Proceedings of the International VISTA '99' Conference. Aachen, Germany: Meyer & Meyer Sport.

This two-volume Proceedings of the International VISTA '99 Conference in Cologne, Germany, contains a compilation of materials relating to exercise physiology, advances in training techniques, technical developments/ equipment, sports medicine, classification, ethics, integration/development/recruitment, organization/administration, and media/ marketing/sponsorships.

Driscoll, J., Benge, J., & Benge, G. (2000). Determined to Win: The Overcoming Spirit of Jean Driscoll. Colorado Springs, CO. WaterBrook Press.

The life story and sport experience of Jean Driscoll, the first Paralympic athlete to be recognized by the Women's Sports Foundation as the Amateur Sportswoman of the Year in 1991. The first person narrative includes details of her athletic triumphs and challenges.

Gregson, I. (1999). Irresistible Force: Disability Sport in Canada. Victoria, B.C.: Polestar Book Publishers.

Documents issues and trends facing athletes in disability sport in Canada. Forward by former Paralympic Chef de mission, Patrick Jarvis.

Guttmann, L. (1976). Textbook of Sport for the Disabled. Aylesbury, Bucks, England: HM + M Publishers, Ltd.

This first comprehensive textbook on the subject of sport for the disabled is based upon Gutmann's close and pioneering involvement over more than 30 years in the development and world-wide use of sport in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. It was written for doctors, physiotherapists, remedial gymnasts, physical instructors, coaches, referees, administrators, and all others involved in competitive sport of the physically handicapped.

Hedrick, B., Brynes, D., & Shaver, L. (1989). Wheelchair Basketball. Washington, DC: Paralyzed Veterans of America.

This book presents wheelchair basketball through the expertise of the authors and should be considered an authoritative coaching and training guide for anyone interested in understanding the sport or for those interested in teaching and/or coaching wheelchair basketball.

Jones, J.A. (Ed.). (1988). Training Guide to Cerebral Palsy Sports (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

This text is an edited compilation of 38 contributors dealing with sports for those with cerebral palsy. It is divided into 4 parts--Part I covers an introduction to cerebral palsy sports and classification; Part II addresses training and preparation for competition; Part III deals with specific activities and considerations for various different sports; Part IV presents considerations for the future.

Kasser, S.L. (1995). Inclusive Games. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Includes many adapted sport activities for children with and without disabilities.

Kelley, J.D., & Frieden, L. (1989). Go For It! Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers.

This book on sport and recreation for persons with disabilities was inspired by the Swedish book, KOM IGEN, which was developed as a cooperative project funded by the Royal Wedding Trust of the Queen of Sweden. Most people approach life and sport in similar ways. Their focus is on individual achievement, cooperation, and team effort--everyone is expected to make the best use of his/her natural abilities and attributes. Persons with disabilities are no different; they approach their daily lives on the same basis, and it is on this basis that they wish to be judged. Go For It! covers team and individual sports, outdoor sport and recreation, aquatics, track and field, winter sports, dance, recreational games, and fitness.

Kent, D. (2003). Athletes with Disabilities. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing.

Geared toward children ages 10-12, this text explores the people and events involved in sports competitions for athletes with disabilities and discusses people with disabilities who play professional sports.

O'Leary, H. (1989). Bold Tracks--Skiing for the Disabled. Evergreen, CO: Cordillera Press, Inc.

This edition commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Winter Park Handicapped Ski Program and recognized the name change to the National Sports Center for the Disabled. This manual was designed to be used by people and places involved in teaching individuals with disabilities to ski; program developers, ski resort owners, fundraisers, program directors and managers, clinicians, instructors, and volunteers. The teaching core of the book covers the different techniques of skiing for the disabled: 3-track, 4-track, 2-track, sit-skiing, and skiing for the visually and hearing impaired.

Paciorek, M.J., & Jones, J.A. (2001). Disability Sport and Recreation Resources (3rd ed.). Traverse City, MI: Cooper Publishing Group, LLC.

Includes up-to-date information on 47 sports and recreational activities, along with profiles and descriptions of the major disability sport organization in the U.S.

Rick Hansen Centre. (1988). A National Symposium on Wheelchair Track and Road Racing. Proceedings. Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This compilation of material presented during the Symposium covers improvements in wheelchair track and road racing, which can be attributed to various technical advances, as well as the increased number of qualified coaches. Topics center upon wheelchair design, athlete preparation for performance, classification systems, and sport injuries.

Scruton, J. (1998). Stoke Mandeville--Road to the Paralympics. Aylesbury, England: Peterhouse Press.

This definitive text presents a historical overview of how sport for those with disabilities developed from initial beginnings under the leadership of Sir Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville, through eventual development of the International Paralympic Committee and the modern Paralympic Games.

Sherrill, C. (1998). Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation and Sport: Crossdisciplinary and Lifespan. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Treats disability sport as an integral part of adapted physical activity with over 150 pages of text on sport, and individual differences amongst disability types presented through a sport context.

Snow, R. (2001). Pushing forward: a memoir of motivation. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing

Biographical narrative on Randy Snow, a world-class wheelchair tennis player.

Steadward, R.D., Nelson, E.R., & Wheeler, G.D. (Eds.). (1994). VISTA '93--The Outlook. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: University of Alberta, Rick Hansen Centre.

This monumental compilation of materials presented during Vista '93 includes four sections dealing with sport performance: exercise physiology; advances in training techniques; technical developments; sports medicine. Additional sections deal with classification, integration, ethics, organization and administration, plus a section dealing with summary and conclusions.

Steadward, R.D., & Peterson, C. (1997). Paralympics: Where Heroes Come. Altona, Manitoba, Canada: DW Friesens, Ltd.

The first book published on the historical development of the Paralympic Games since the creation of the International Paralympic Committee in Dusseldorf (FRG) on September 21, 1989.

Steadward. R.D., Wheeler, G.D., & Watkinson, E.J. (Eds.). (2003). Adapted Physical Activity. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta Press.

Multidisciplinary text that focuses on the delivery of services and education to individuals with disabilities including over 100 pages devoted to the realm of sport.

Strohkendl, H. (1996). The 50th anniversary of wheelchair basketball. New York: Munster.

This book covers the history of wheelchair basketball for both men and women. It includes sections dealing with officiating techniques and play classification for wheelchair basketball.

Winnick, J.P. (Ed.). (2000). Adapted Physical Education and Sport (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Adapted physical education text that includes a comprehensive chapter authored by Michael J. Paciorek on disability sport in the United States in addition to chapters written by David L. Porretta, Monica Lepore, E. Michael Loovis, Abu Yilla, and Luke Kelly on individual sports, team sports, wheelchair sport, and aquatics.

Note: This bibliography on disability sport has been prepared by Lisa Olenick, Longwood University, as additional source material for the historical overview on disability sport.

Block, M. & Moon, M. (1992). Orelove, Wehman, and Wood revisited: An evaluative review of Special Olympics ten years later. Education and Training in Mental Retardation, December, 379-386.

Deckman, S. (2002) Students are getting into it! The Special Olympics school-based curriculum makes waves in the United States. Spirit: The Magazine of Special Olympics. Quarter 2, 10 11.

Dunn, J. (1997). Special Physical Education: Adapted, Individualized, Developmental. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.

Eickman, J. (2001). Ten of many landmark decisions and events in CISS history. In J.M. Lovett, J. Eickman, & T. Giansanti (Eds.), CISS 2001: A review (pp. 81-85). Worcestershire, England: Red Lizard.

Ellis, M.K. (2001). Response to Future Directions of the Deaflympics--A voice from the mainstream. PALAESTRA, 17(3), 48-49.

History (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2003, from

History (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2003, from

History (n.d.) Retrieved December 3, 2003,

Jankowski, K. (1997). Deaf empowerment: Emergence, struggle, and rhetoric. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University.

Jordan, J. (2001). CISS and the International Paralympic Committee. In J.M. Lovett, J. Eickman, & T. Giansanti (Eds.), CISS 2001: A review (pp. 54-57). Worcestershire, England: Red Lizard.

Legg, D. (2000). Strategy Formation in the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (167-1997). Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta.

Lovett, J.M., Eickman, J., & Giansanti, T. (2001). CISS 2001: A review, Worcestershire, England: Red Lizard.

Moores, D. (2001). Educating the deaf. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Ojalas, R. (1995). The Olympic tire shines for the deaf in Finland. Life and education in Finland, 1, 25-31.

Orelove, F., & Moon, M. (1984), The Special Olympics program: Effects on retarded persons and society. Arena Review, 8, 41 45.

Orelove, F. & Wood, J. (1982). An evaluative review of Special Olympics: Implications for community integration. Education and Training of Mentally Retarded, 17, 325-329.

Pady, V. (1984). The miracle worker. Today, 16-18.

Paciorek, M. & Block, M. (1992). Special Olympics athletes with severe disabilities. PALAESTRA, 8, 53-56.

Privett, C. (1999). The Special Olympics: A tradition of excellence. Exceptional Parent, 29, 28.

Sherrill. C. (1998). Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation and Sport: Crossdisciplinary and Lifespan. Boston: WCB McGraw-Hill.

Siperstein, G. & Hardman, M. (2001). National Evaluation of the Special Olympics Unified Sports Program. Washington, DC: Special Olympics Inc.

Steadward, R., & Foster, S. (2003). History of disability sport: From rehabilitation to athletic excellence. In R. Steadward, G. Wheeler & J. Watkinson (Eds.). Adapted Physical Activity (pp. 471-496). Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta.

Special Olympics (2003). Special Olympics: 2002 Athlete Participation Report. Washington, DC: Special Olympics, p. 15.

Stewart, D.A. (1991). Deaf sport: The impact of sports within the Deaf community. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University.

Stewart, D.A., & Ammons, D.K. (2001 ). Future directions of the Deaflympics. PALAESTRA, 17(3), 45-49.

The Birth of the Special Olympics in Canada (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2003, from

David Legg is a professor within the Department of Physical Education and Recreation al Mount Royal College, Calgary, Canada. Claudia Emes, for a long time associated with the Special Olympics movement within Canada, is a professor at the University of Calgary. David Stewart is Professor and Director of the Deaf Education program at Michigan State University. He is the Technical Delegate for ice hockey for the Comite Internationals des Sports des Sourds and is an Assistant Editor for PALAESTRA. Robert Steadward is Professor Emeritus, Department of Physical Education, University of Alberta, and immediate Past President of the International Paralympic Committee.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Challenge Publications Limited
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Legg, David; Emes, Claudia; Stewart, David; Steadward, Robert
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:Adapted physical activity: the golden years.
Next Article:Therapeutic recreation: a long past, but a brief history.

Related Articles
Future Directions of the Deaflympics.
"Militants" or "Terrorists"? (letters).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters