Remembering the New York 1984 Paralympic Games

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.

US President Ronald Reagan officially opened the Games in New York on 17 June in Mitchell Park.

Media coverage of the Games in New York was more extensive than it had been in the past, with all of the major US television networks and newspapers present. International media outlets appeared as well, including BBC TV, Dutch TV, West German TV and Swedish radio and TV.