Medicine: Paralympics of 1953

The playing fields of Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, England, were cleared last week for a competition called the Paralympics, and a crowd of 3,000 watched teams from eight nations fight out the two-day meet. The sports on the calendar were commonplace: netball (similar to U.S. basketball), snooker, archery, table tennis, javelin throwing, shot-putting and swimming. The manner of competition, though, was singular. Each of the 200 contestants was a paraplegic, denied the use of his lower body and forced to remain in a wheelchair for life. Some players were so badly crippled that the...

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