National Museum of American History
Athletes with disabilities have embraced the spirit of innovation to participate and excel in competitive sports by adapting equipment to suit their personal needs.
Adaptive sports began as rehabilitation for injured World War II veterans. Sports medicine and occupational therapy were in practice since 1920, but it wasn’t until after the war that these techniques were widely adopted. In 1948 a neurologist working with paralyzed veterans founded the Stoke Mandeville Games for the Paralyzed, and since then organized play for athletes with disabilities has expanded. Today the Paralympic Games and the X Games adaptive events offer opportunities for competition to thousands of athletes each year.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.