After the fierce competition of the Perth games in 1962, the rivalry between the English and Australian athletes was palpable at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1966, which began immediately following the able-bodied Commonwealth Games. New countries at the Kingston Games were teams from Canada, Fiji, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, who joined Australia, England, New Zealand, Northern Island, Scotland and Wales. Kingston made improvements on previous games in terms of accessibility to facilities and accommodation. Competitors vied for medals in ten sports.
Dr John Grant, Medical Officer and Australian Team Manager, had medical concerns about taking athletes to the West Indies. His concerns centred on fears of contracting infectious diseases that were unknown in Australia. The athletes, however, were excited about the exotic location of the Games. For the first time, British Royalty – Prince Phillip and Princess Anne – attended the Games, formally opening the event and freely mingling amongst the competitors. The first Oath in Games history was delivered by the Jamaican team leader: ‘We declare that we will take part in the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games of 1966 in the spirit of true sportsmanship recognizing the rules which govern them and desirous of participating in them for the honour of our Commonwealth and for the glory of sport’.
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