Sir Ludwig Guttmann: Father of the Paralympics

Sir Ludwig Guttmann: Father of the Paralympics

This PowerPoint presentation, a biography of the extraordinary life of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, comprises 83 slides. It is designed to be presented across two school assemblies, or in an hour-long PSHE lesson. It can be used alongside the classroom resource of the same name, also available from this website. Also recommended is the BBC film, The Best of Men which tells the story of Ludwig's time at Stoke Mandeville.


A leading neurologist, Sir Ludwig Guttmann was of Jewish heritage. In 1939 he and his family fled to England from Nazi Germany, narrowly escaping anti-Semitic persecution.


Anticipating many injured servicemen from the D-Day landings, the British authorities appointed Ludwig as head of the spinal injuries hospital at Stoke Mandeville. There, he pioneered new, more active treatments for his patients' physical and mental health. These treatments evolved to become wheelchair games and, in 1948, the first Stoke Mandeville Games.


Ludwig had a vision that the Stoke Mandeville Games could grow into an international event. This vision became reality as the Stoke Mandeville Games evolved to become the Paralympic Games and, from 1976, the Winter Paralympic Games.


This is the story of Ludwig's compassion, courage, imagination, determination, perseverance, resilience and pioneering spirit. He remains, arguably, the greatest single influence on sport across the world, and certainly the greatest influence on sport for people living with impairments.