Stoke Mandeville 70: A 1948 sports snapshot

Five sporting events that made headlines in the same year as the Games 29 Jul 2018
female sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen crosses the finish line ahead of other female runners

Dutch housewife Fanny Blankers-Koen (far right) won four golds at the London 1948 Olympic Games

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The celebration of the first Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948 was not the only sporting highlight of the year. As we mark the 70th anniversary today (29 July) of the first Stoke Mandeville Games, which later became the Paralympic Games, here are five sporting events that also made the headlines that year.

1. After a 12 year-break due to World War II, the Olympic Games were again celebrated. London, Great Britain, staged the event for a second time with 4,104 athletes from 59 countries competing across 17 sports.

2. The fifth edition of the Olympic Winter Games also took place in Saint Moritz, Switzerland. A total of 669 athletes representing 28 countries in bobsleigh, ice hockey, skating and skiing.

3. USA’s Joe Louis, one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time, won his last fight by knockout against Jersey Joe Walcott. It was his 25th title defence.

4. The Irish rugby union team completed the Grand Slam for the first time at the Five Nations Championship after securing wins against France, England, Scotland and Wales. It would be 61 years before they did it again.

5. US golfer Patty Berg, who still holds the record for most Major wins for a female golfer with 15, won her third Women’s Western Open and her fourth Titleholders Championship.