New York 16 June – 30 July; Stoke Mandeville 22 July – 1 August
The 1984 Paralympic Games were held in both Europe and North America.
Initially, the four disability groups at the time were supposed to compete together in the USA, as the IOC had announced in 1977 that the 1984 Olympic Games would be held in Los Angeles. But the independent sports organisations for athletes with an impairment had no formal relations with the Olympic Organising Committee.
Therefore, in 1980, the American National Wheelchair Athletic Association, an affiliated organisation to the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation, announced it would hold its own Games for wheelchair athletes in a separate location.
As a result, the other three impairment groups combined their efforts and chose New York as their Games venue.
Between the two locations of the Games, athletes participated in 18 different sports.
Amputee athletes, cerebral palsy athletes and visually impaired athletes competed in New York, while those with spinal cord impairments compete in Stoke Mandeville.
Archery IPC Athletics Boccia Cycling Football 7-a-side Goalball Lawn Bowls IPC Powerlifting IPC Shooting Snooker IPC Swimming Table tennis Sitting volleyball Weightlifting Wheelchair basketball Wheelchair fencing Wrestling
U.S. President Ronald Reagan officially opened the Games in New York on 17 June in Mitchell Park.
In Stoke Mandeville, HRH Prince Charles opened the Games on 22 July, as a crowd of 3,000 cheered on the teams during the parade.
After a great number of medals were awarded between the two locations, the USA came out on top with 136 gold, 131 silver and 129 Bronze. Great Britain finished a close second, to ensure a one-two finish for the two host nations.
Switzerland dominated the men’s athletics events, as Frank Nietlespach took four golds and one silver in the wheelchair racing events. Heinz Frei raced to gold in the 1,500m, 5,000m and the marathon, while Reiner Kuschall won two gold medals as well.
Canadian Rick Hansen, who later wheeled around the world on his man-in-motion tour, won gold medals in the 1,500m and the marathon.
Ingrid Lauridson of Denmark topped the women’s competition on the track with six gold medals.
American Marcia Bevard reaped six gold medals in swimming.
ATTENDANCE AND COVERAGE
Media coverage of the Games in New York was more extensive than it had been in the past, with all of the major U.S. television networks and newspapers present. International media outlets appeared as well, including BBC TV, Dutch TV, West German TV and Swedish radio and TV.