1957
1960 Paralympian Frank Ponta recalls wheelchair basketballers training against able-bodied players.

Frank Ponta talks about early basketball competitions against able-bodied players

Frank Ponta talks about early basketball competitions against able-bodied players
1960

Gary hooper: how lucky I am to be here

Gary Hooper talks about ‘making it’ as a Paralympic athlete

Gary Hooper talks about ‘making it’ as a Paralympic athlete

"We'd sit on street corners and sell raffle tickets"

Bill Mather-Brown talks about the public awareness benefits of early fundraising activities

Bill Mather-Brown talks about the public awareness benefits of early fundraising activities
1960 Paralympian Kevin Coombes reflects on being the first Indigenous Paralympian.

Kevin Coombs discusses traveling to Rome

Kevin Coombs discusses traveling to Rome

They carried us on and off aeroplanes

Listen to Bill Mather-Brown praising the hard work of the team support staff

Listen to Bill Mather-Brown praising the hard work of the team support staff
Members of the first Australian Paralympic Team, in Rome in 1960, disembark from a plane at Rome airport at the end of their journey to the Games. The team contained a mixture of athletes with polio and those with spinal cord injuries. In general, those with paraplegia were lifted from the plane and those with polio used the steps. Team physiotherapist

Australian team athletes disembark from plane Rome Summer Paralympics

Australian team athletes disembark from plane Rome Summer Paralympics

Going up ten stairs with a wheelchair

Gary Hooper chats about the unusual and barely accessible accommodation at the 1960 Rome Summer Paralympics

Gary Hooper chats about the unusual and barely accessible accommodation at the 1960 Rome Summer Paralympics
The Athletes' Village for the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome consisted of apartments above the ground, with no lift access. Although ramps were installed over the stairs, most athletes required assistance to enter and leave the buildings as the ramps were so steep.

Athletes’ Village Rome Summer Paralympics

Athletes’ Village Rome Summer Paralympics
Paralympian Chris O’Brian on the best thing about being a Paralympian.

Chris O’Brien discuss best thing about being a Paralympian

Chris O’Brien discuss best thing about being a Paralympian
1974
Medical examination of competitors is necessary to establish the classes in which they will compete. Sir Ludwig Guttman is doing the examinations here. He was the founder of the para sporting movement which had small beginnings in Stoke Mandeville near London in 1948 and has since spread throughout the world.

Sir Ludwig Guttman performing medical examinations on athletes

Sir Ludwig Guttman performing medical examinations on athletes
Getting the paras on and off aeroplanes is one of the more strenuous duties of the escorts. Fork lifts and elevating platforms can help, but with a large group, carrying up and down the steps seems to be the most efficient method.

Athletes boarding and alighting the plane

Athletes boarding and alighting the plane
1976
Our stories

Forty-eight Australian athletes competed at the 1976 Paralympics, including amputee and vision impaired athletes for the first time.

Australia at the Toronto Summer Paralympics 1976

Australia at the Toronto Summer Paralympics 1976

Jago runs blind towards a coach 60m away

Jago runs blind towards a coach 60m away

GALLERY: Amputee technology in 1976

GALLERY: Amputee technology in 1976
1980
Geilo 1980 Winter Paralympics - Peter Rickards with his sighted guide Elder Hagen

Peter Rickards, Geilo Winter Paralympics

Peter Rickards, Geilo Winter Paralympics

GALLERY: Quadriplegia requires unique solutions for archer Trewhella

GALLERY: Quadriplegia requires unique solutions for archer Trewhella

A special courage – jumping blind

A special courage – jumping blind
1984
Portrait of Australian vision impaired cross country skier Rodney Mill at the 1984 Innsbruck Winter Games.

Rodney Mill Innsbruck Winter Paralympics

Rodney Mill Innsbruck Winter Paralympics
1996

Peter Worsley shoots, Atlanta Paralympics

Peter Worsley shoots, Atlanta Paralympics
2000
Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Athletics - visually impaired sprinter Gerrard Gosens (AUS) with his guide/lead runner

Gerard Gosens and Guide Sydney Paralympics

Gerard Gosens and Guide Sydney Paralympics
thletics - wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley (AUS) with Australian flag

Kurt Fearnley Sydney Summer Paralympics

Kurt Fearnley Sydney Summer Paralympics