1984 Summer Paralympics

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VII Paralympic Games
New York 1984 Paralympics.jpg
Host city New York, United States
Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom
Nations45 (USA)
41 (GBR)
Athletes1,800 (USA)
1,100 (GBR)
Events~300 in 15 sports (USA)
603 in 10 sports (GBR)
Opening17 June (USA)
22 July (GBR)
Closing30 June (USA)
1 August (GBR)
Opened by
Stadium Mitchel Athletic Complex (USA)
Stoke Mandeville Stadium (GBR)
Arnhem 1980 Seoul 1988
Innsbruck 1984 Innsbruck 1988

The 1984 International Games for the Disabled, canonically the 1984 Summer Paralympics were the seventh Paralympic Games to be held. They were in fact two separate competitions – one in Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom for wheelchair athletes with spinal cord injuries and the other at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, United States of America for wheelchair and ambulatory athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees, and les autres [the others] (conditions as well as blind and visually impaired athletes). Stoke Mandeville had been the location of the Stoke Mandeville Games from 1948 onwards, seen as the precursors to the Paralympic Games. [1] As with the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Soviet Union and other communist countries except China, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia boycotted the Paralympic Games. [2]

Paralympic Games major international sport event for people with disabilities

The Paralympics is a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Stoke Mandeville farm village in the United Kingdom

Stoke Mandeville is a village and civil parish in the Vale of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. It is located 3 miles (4.9km) from Aylesbury and 3.4 miles (5.5km) from the market town of Wendover. Although a separate civil parish, the village falls within the Aylesbury Urban Area. According to the Census Report the area of this parish is 1,460 acres (5.9 km2).

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Opening ceremonies

In the opening ceremonies, patchy showers greeted the 14000 spectators packed into the Mitchel Park stadium for the 2pm start of the New York Games opening ceremony on the 19th June. [3] New York radio personality William B. Williams introduced everyone with a welcome speech. [3] Entertainers such as Bill Buzzeo and the Dixie Ramblers, Richie Havens, The New Image Drum and Bugle Corps, the ARC Gospel Chorus and the Square Dance Extravaganza followed the introduction speech. [3] At the closing ceremonies, Commander Archie Cameron, President of ICC officially closed the games with a short speech acknowledging the athletes and the next host city, Seoul, South Korea. The flag of the games were then lowered and American athletes carried the flags back to the reviewing stand where they were handed over the President of the Organizing Committee, Dr William T. Callahan. [3]


Dan D. Lion
Dan D Lion.png
Mascot of the 1984 Summer Paralympics (New York)
CreatorMaryanne McGrath Higgins
SignificanceA lion

The mascot for the 1984 Paralympic Games was Dan D. Lion, which was designed by an art teacher Maryanne McGrath Higgins. [4]


Competitors were divided into five disability-specific categories: amputee, cerebral palsy, visually impaired, wheelchair, and les autres (athletes with physical disabilities that had not been eligible to compete in previous Games). The wheelchair category was for those competitors who used a wheelchair due to a spinal cord disability. However some athletes in the amputee and cerebral palsy categories also competed in wheelchairs. Within the sport of athletics, a wheelchair marathon event was held for the first time. The Trails for the first wheelchair event to be held at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games was held in conjunction with the New York Games. However, despite the long and established history of using "paralympic" terminology, in the United States the US Olympic Committee prohibited the Games organizers from using the term. The seventeen contested sports are listed below, along with the disability categories which competed in each. [5]

Cerebral palsy A group of disorders affecting the development of movement and posture, often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. It results from damage to the fetal or infant brain.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Signs and symptoms vary among people and over time. Often, symptoms include poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There may be problems with sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing, and speaking. Often, babies with cerebral palsy do not roll over, sit, crawl or walk as early as other children of their age. Other symptoms include seizures and problems with thinking or reasoning, which each occur in about one third of people with CP. While symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, underlying problems do not worsen over time.

Wheelchair chair with wheels, used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability

A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, used when walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. Wheelchairs come in a wide variety of formats to meet the specific needs of their users. They may include specialized seating adaptions, individualized controls, and may be specific to particular activities, as seen with sports wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs. The most widely recognised distinction is between powered wheelchairs ("powerchairs"), where propulsion is provided by batteries and electric motors, and manually propelled wheelchairs, where the propulsive force is provided either by the wheelchair user/occupant pushing the wheelchair by hand ("self-propelled"), or by an attendant pushing from the rear.

Marathon long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres

The marathon is a long-distance race, completed by running, walking, or a run/walk strategy. There are also wheelchair divisions. The marathon has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres, usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory.

Archery at the 1984 Summer Paralympics consisted of eighteen events, fourteen for men and four for women.

Athletics at the 1984 Summer Paralympics consisted of 447 events.

Boccia at the 1984 Summer Paralympics consisted of five events.

Medal table

The host nations, Great Britain and the United States, are highlighted. Bahrain, China, Jordan, Luxembourg, Trinidad and Tobago won their first ever medals.

Bahrain at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

Bahrain competed at the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain and New York City, United States. 12 competitors from Bahrain won 2 medals, both bronze and finished 43rd and last in the medal table.

China at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

China competed at the 1984 Summer Paralympics, held in New York City, United States and in Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom. This was China's debut at the summer Paralympics. The country sent 24 athletes who competed in three sports: athletics, swimming and table tennis.

Jordan at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

Jordan competed at the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain and New York City, United States. 9 competitors from Jordan won 3 medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze and finished joint 39th in the medal table with Zimbabwe.

1Flag of the United States.svg  United States*137131129397
2Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 107112112331
3Flag of Canada.svg  Canada 878269238
4Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 834334160
5Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 797675230
6Flag of France.svg  France 716945185
7Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 555228135
8Flag of Australia.svg  Australia 495451154
9Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 463921106
10Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 30131659
11Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 29313090
12Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 22221458
13Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 22101244
14Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 20153166
15Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 18142658
16Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland 18131243
17Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 14201044
18Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 1212327
19Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 11211244
20Flag of SFR Yugoslavia.svg  Yugoslavia 1191131
21Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 9191442
22Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 97824
23Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 810725
24Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg  Brazil 717428
25Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 6141737
26Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 43714
27Flag of Hong Kong (1959-1997).svg  Hong Kong 35917
28Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 212822
29Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago 2013
30Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 1416
31Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 1348
32Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg  Burma 1214
33Flag of Egypt (1972-1984).svg  Egypt 1157
34Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 1113
35Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany 0314
36Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland 02810
37Flag of India.svg  India 0224
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg  South Korea 0224
39Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 0123
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 0123
41Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas 0112
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 0112
43Flag of Bahrain (1972-2002).svg  Bahrain 0022
Totals (43 nations)9769498492774

Participating delegations

Fifty-four delegations took part in the 1984 Paralympics. Bahrain, China, East Germany, Faroe Islands, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela made their first appearances, India and Portugal returned to the Games after a 12 year absence. [6]

Reception at the host cities

Odeda Rosenthal, a professor of humanities at a local community college on Long Island and translator for the Austrian team highlighted a number of problems at the games in a series of articles. [3] She highlighted a number of issues such as poor communication, administrative hiccups and even bus drivers not knowing the routes to scheduled events that even caused some teams to miss events completely. [3] Rosenthal continues by slamming the work by the Police Chief claiming the Chief "took the opposite tack of anything that was suggested to sort out the mess". [3] However, overall reports and the general impression given off by the games was a friendly atmosphere and volunteers trying their hardest under difficult conditions. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The National Paralympic Games are high-level multi-sport events held at the national level by the International Paralympic Committee and national Paralympic Committees in non-Olympic years. The events provide competitions for disabled athletes.

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Wheelchair racing racing of wheelchairs in track and road races

Wheelchair racing is the racing of wheelchairs in track and road races. Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability, amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and partially sighted. Athletes are classified in accordance with the nature and severity of their disability or combinations of disabilities. Like running, it can take place on a track or as a road race. The main competitions take place at the Summer Paralympics which wheelchair racing and athletics has been a part of since 1960. Competitors compete in specialized wheelchairs which allow the athletes to reach speeds of 30 km/h or more. It is one of the most prominent forms of Paralympic athletics.

Summer Paralympic Games international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete

The Summer Paralympic Games or the Games of the Paralympiad, are an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, organized by the International Paralympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

Winter Paralympic Games international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow & ice sports

The Winter Paralympic Games is an international multi-sport event where athletes with physical disabilities compete in snow & ice sports. This includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy. The Winter Paralympic Games are held every four years directly following the Winter Olympic Games. The Winter Paralympics are also hosted by the city that hosted the Winter Olympics. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) oversees the Winter Paralympics. Medals are awarded in each event: with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, following the tradition that the Olympic Games started in 1904.

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Para-archery has been contested at every Summer Paralympic Games since they were first held in 1960. Separate individual and team events are held for men and women. Archers are classified according to the extent of their disability, with separate individual events for each of three classes.

Marathon events have been held at the Summer Paralympic Games, for both men and women, since the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville and New York City. They are held as part of the Paralympic athletics programme.

Australia at the 1984 Winter Paralympics

The 1984 Winter Paralympics, then known as The Third World Winter Games for the Disabled, were held in Innsbruck, Austria. The games took place from the 15 until 21 January. Present at these games were 419 athletes from 21 countries, Spain and the Netherlands competing for the first time in the Winter Paralympics, competing in 107 events across 3 sports. The inclusion of Les Austres and Cerebral palsy impairment groups contributing to the distinct increase in athlete participation with the total number of athletes jumping from 229 at Geilo, Norway in 1980.

Australia at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

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Para-equestrian classification is a system for para-equestrian sport is a graded system based on the degree of physical or visual disability and handled at the international level by the FEI. The sport has eligible classifications for people with physical and vision disabilities. Groups of eligible riders include The sport is open to competitors with impaired muscle power, athetosis, impaired passive range of movement, hypertonia, limb deficiency, ataxia, leg length difference, short stature, and vision impairment. They are grouped into five different classes to allow fair competition. These classes are Grade Ia, Grade Ib, Grade II, Grade III, and Grade IV. The para-equestrian classification does not consider the gender of the rider, as equestrines compete in mixed gender competitions.

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Spain at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

Spain won 22 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 12 bronze medals.

Athletics at the 2016 Summer Paralympics

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Les Autres sport classification is system used in disability sport for people with locomotor disabilities not included in other classification systems for people with physical disabilities. The purpose of this system is to facilitate fair competition between people with different types of disabilities, and to give credibility to disability sports. It was designed and managed by International Sports Organization for the Disabled (ISOD) until the 2005 merger with IWAS, when management switched to that organization. Classification is handled on the national level by relevant sport organizations.

LA2 is a Les Autres sport classification is an wheelchair sport classification for a sportsperson with a disability that impacts their locomotor function. People in this class have severe locomotor issues with all four limbs as a result of loss of muscle strength or spasticity to a lesser degree than LAF1 or have severe locomotor issues in three of their limbs. They have moderate sitting balance, but good sitting balance while throwing.

LA4 is a Les Autres sport classification is an ambulatory sport classification for a sportsperson with a disability that impacts their locomotor function. People in this class may or may not uses crutches and/or braces on a daily basis. They have some issues with balance and reduced function in their upper limbs.


  1. "2012 – The Paralympics come home", BBC, 4 July 2008
  2. Bailey, Steve (2008). Athlete First: A history of the paralympic movement. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 35–26. ISBN   9780470058244.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Brittain, Ian (2012). From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: A history of the Summer Paralympic Games. Illinois: Common Ground Publishing.
  4. "New York 1984 Paralympic Mascot Dan D. Lion – Photos & History". www.paralympic.org. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  5. "Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  6. "Medal Standings – New York / Stoke Mandevile 1984 Paralympic Games". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2008.