Happy birthday, Prof. Sir Ludwig Guttmann!
The present Doodle, represented by Baltimore-based guest artist Ashanti Fortson, praises the 122nd birthday of Jewish, German-born British neurologist Professor Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, organizer of the Paralympic movement.
Guttmann was born in Tost, Germany (presently Toszek, Poland) on this day in 1899 and proceeded to accept his M.D. in 1924. He hence started research on spinal cord injuries and played out a few neurosurgical procedures, ascending to prominence as one of Germany’s top neurosurgeons by his mid thirties.
In any case, with the ascent of the Nazi party and the passing of the Nuremberg Laws in 1933, Guttmann was prevented from practising medicine professionally. Following Kristallnacht in 1938 and the expanding mistreatment of Jews in Germany, Guttmann had to leave Germany with his family and had the option to get away to England in 1939.
In England, Guttmann progressed his research in paraplegia. In 1944, he set up his innovative approach as a regular occurrence as the director of the National Spinal Injuries Center at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
In 1948, he coordinated a 16-person archery contest, one of the first official competitive sporting events for wheelchair clients. Later called the “Stoke Mandeville Games” or the “Olympics for the Disabled,” the competition demonstrated the power of elite sport to separate barriers for disability and collected the consideration of global medical and sporting communities.
In 1960, Guttmann facilitated with the International Stoke Mandeville Games, following the 1960 Summer Olympics, the first of numerous Paralympic Games. His energy for patient care never faltered—he also founded the International Medical Society of Paraplegia (the International Spinal Cord Society) and the British Sports Association for the Disabled (Activity Alliance) in 1961. He got various honors for his contributions, the most noteworthy among which was being knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 1966.
Today, Paralympic competitors are rightfully recognized for their skills and achievements. The Paralympic Games keep on being a main impetus for promoting the rights and independence of people with handicaps, with an lasting impact on equal treatment and opportunity.
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