Best archery moments of Paralympic history

To mark the International Paralympic Committees 25th anniversary, World Archery has selected its top eight moments. 25 Sep 2014
Archery - Fact of the week

Archery and javelin were the two sports practised at the 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games which are recognised as the forerunner of the Paralympic Games.


World Archery has taken a look back at some historical moments throughout para archery.

As the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) celebrates its 25-year anniversary, World Archery has taken a look back at some historical moments throughout para archery.

The IPC was formed in 1989 to centralise the organisation of multi-disability, multi-sport Games: namely, the Paralympics.

Although the Paralympic Games started back at Rome 1960, since the creation of the IPC the event has gone from strength to strength.

Here is World Archery’s top eight moments:

8) Nemati wins first Iranian gold - The first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at either a Paralympic or Olympic Games was para-archer Zahra Nemati.

Her London 2012 title sparked a flurry of recognition for her inspiring other women in her home country to take up sport. She was awarded the 2013 Spirit of Sport Award and spoke to a panel from the United Nations on the subject.

7) Simonelli crowned world champion - Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, held the first World Archery Para Championships in 1998. Italian Alberto Simonelli won the compound men’s open category. Ten years later, he came second at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

6) Brown’s Commonwealth victory - Two-time Paralympic champion with Great Britain, Danielle Brown was part of the gold-winning England team trio at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

5) Lighting of the cauldron, Barcelona - Para-archer Antonio Rebello lit both the Olympic and Paralympic cauldrons in Barcelona by shooting a flaming arrow.

4) First mixed events - Turin 2011 saw the first-ever mixed team para archery matches at a World Archery Para Championships. Iran won the recurve and Russia the compound world titles.

3) Fairhall competes in the Olympic Games - New Zealand’s Neroli Fairhall became the first ever para-archer to make the jump to the Olympic Games when she competed at Los Angeles in 1984.

2) The inspirational archer at London 2012 - Team USA’s Matt Stutzman, who was born without arms and shoots with his feet, captured the attention of a huge audience because of his unusual disability-sport combination, and his ridiculous talent.

1) 1948 and the very beginning – Recognised as the forerunner of the Paralympic Games, the Stoke Mandeville Games for the paralysed were first held in 1948 and organised by Dr Ludwig Guttmann, with just two sports - archery and javelin. This event grew yearly, inspiring the first Paralympics in Rome 12 years later.

This article was first published on the World Archery website.