1952 - 1960
By 1952 the Stoke Mandeville Games featured 130 competitors, and Dutch veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its kind. The first official Paralympic Games, no longer open solely to war veterans, was held in Rome in 1960 alongside the official IOC 1960 Summer Olympics. (Although at the time the 1960 games were known as the Ninth Stoke Mandeville Games, rather than the Paralympics). 400 athletes from 23 countries competed and, since 1960, the Paralympic Games have taken place in the same year as the Olympic Games.
The International Stoke Mandeville Games continue to this day as the IWAS World Games (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports), distinct from the Paralympics.
Pictured: 6 August 1953 - A game of netball between a Dutch team from Aardenburg and the British team at Stoke Mandeville Hospital