On 29 July 1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the second Olympic Games in London the Stoke Mandeville Games were founded, and the first competitions for athletes with spinal cord injuries took place on the hospital grounds in Stoke Mandeville. Two British teams with 14 former servicemen and two former servicewomen competed in Archery. From then on, the Stoke Mandeville Games were to be held annually. In 1952, Dutch ex-servicemen joined the movement - the International Stoke Mandeville Games were established.
In 1960, the International Stoke Mandeville Games were staged for the first time in the same country and city as the Olympic Games. They have gone down in history as the "First Paralympic Games".
Over the past 65 years Stoke Mandeville has played a pivotal role in the growth and development movement, hosting the wheelchair competitions for the 1984