Founder of Paralympic Movement Honoured with Statue
A statue of Sir Ludwig Guttmann has been unveiled in Stoke Mandeville, Uk. The pioneer introduced sport as a means to rehabilitation in the 1940s, which gave birth the the Paralympic Movement
Stoke Mandeville Stadium hosted the unveiling ceremony of Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s statue on Sunday (24 June).
Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the global founder of spinal cord injury treatment, introduced sport into his rehabilitation programme for his patients after World War II. He had the vision that sport for people with an impairment would become a global phenomenon.
The Paralympic Games developed as a result of an archery competition on the grass outside the National Spinal Injuries Centre for his patients on the opening day of the 1948 London Olympic Games.
A life size bronze statue of “Poppa”, as he was endearingly known, was commissioned to stand outside his National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The long-overdue statue was unveiled at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and it was also a chance for people to celebrate the Paralympic Games coming home to Britain
Throughout the day speeches were made Mike Mackenzie, Chairman of the Poppa Guttmann Trust, the Minister of State for Care Services Paul Bustow MP and many more.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s daughter, Eva Loeffler OBE, and son Dr Dennis Guttmann unveiled the statue of their father.
Sir Phillip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee was also at the unveiling to accept a bronze bust of Poppa Guttmann, sponsored by Aggreko, which will be on display at this year’s and all future Paralympic Games.