Wolbring, Legg and Stahnisch (2010) Meaning of Inclusion throughout the History of the Paralympic Games and Movement in The International Journal of Sport & Society Volume 1, Number 3 p81-93
Abstract: Sport, both elite and recreational, is seen as important for the quality of lives, self-esteem,
independence and social integration of people with disabilities. At the same time, many people with
disabilities feel that there is not enough opportunity, recognition and support to participate in sport.
Inclusion in society is a main goal of people with disabilities and various efforts have been made in
this regard specifically in mainstreaming people with disabilities into recreational sport and physical
education in schools. What, however, is the inclusion reality and vision within high profile, high performance
sport? What is the inclusion discourse and inclusion vision within the Paralympic movement
and Games especially as it pertains to the relationship between the Paralympic and Olympic Games?
What might the future hold for the relationship between the Olympic and Paralympic Games? What
might the inclusion discourse look like in the future? To answer these questions this paper will address
the inclusion discourse within the Paralympic Movement by investigating the historical vision of Sir
Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980), the founder of the Paralympic Movement and by tracking the inclusion
discourse of the Paralympic Movement from its inception until today. This paper finally thematizes
the issue of inclusion by looking at possible future scenarios of the Paralympic Games and its relationship
to the Olympic Games keeping in mind advances in the next generations of therapeutic assistive
devices that will inevitably narrow the performance gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.