Great Britain at the Paralympics

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Great Britain at the Paralympic Games

Flag of the United Kingdom
IPC code  GBR
NPC British Paralympic Association
Website www.paralympics.org.uk
Paralympic history
Summer Games
Winter Games

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has participated (under the name "Great Britain") in every Summer and Winter Paralympic Games.

While the Olympic Games find their origin in Greece, Britain, and specifically the Stoke Mandeville Hospital is recognised as the spiritual home of the Paralympic Games. The first Paralympic Games, held in Rome in 1960, were devised as a direct result of the Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, devised by Dr Ludwig Guttmann for soldiers with spinal cord injuries.[1]

Britain has performed particularly well at the Summer Paralympic Games, consistently finishing between second and fifth on the medal tables - a slightly better performance than at the Olympics. Britain has won one gold medal at the Winter Paralympics and 493 at the Summer Games. Britain is second on the all-time Paralympic Games medal table.

Britain was the co-host of the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville, and the host of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, in London.

Although the country uses the name "Great Britain", athletes from Northern Ireland are entitled to compete as part of British delegations. Representatives of the devolved Northern Ireland government, however, have objected to the name, which they argue creates a perception that Northern Ireland is not part of the British Olympic team, and have called for the team to be renamed as Team UK.[2][3]

Under the terms of a long-standing settlement between the British Olympic Association and the Olympic Council of Ireland, athletes from Northern Ireland can elect to represent Ireland at the Olympics, as Northern Irish people are legally entitled to dual citizenship.[4]

Britain's most successful Paralympian is swimmer Mike Kenny who won 16 individual gold medals, as well as two relay silvers, in four Games.[5] Although Great Britain has competed in every Games, the British Paralympic Committee was only founded in 1989, after Kenny's retirement. Media in Britain consistently refer to the most decorated Paralympic athletes from that year, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dave Roberts and Sarah Storey as Britain's "greatest Paralympians", occasionally with the phrase "of the modern era", attached.[6] The International Paralympic Committee, however, recognise all of Kenny's eighteen medals as Paralympic golds.[7]

Britain's first Paralympic gold was earned at the 1960 Rome Games by Margaret Maughan.[8]

Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold was earned at the Sochi 2014 Games by Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans in the Women's Super-G Visually impaired.

Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell are the first and only Britons to win four medals at a single Winter Paralympics.[9] After winning a silver medal in the Super-G, visually impaired event on 14 March 2014, Etherington became Great Britain's most successful female Winter Paralympian.[10]

Medal tables[edit]

Medals by Summer Games[edit]

      Host country (Great Britain)

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
1960 Rome 20 15 20 55 2
1964 Tokyo 18 23 20 61 2
1968 Tel-Aviv 29 20 20 69 2
1972 Heidelberg 16 15 21 52 3
1976 Toronto 29 29 36 94 5
1980 Arnhem 47 32 21 100 5
1984 Stoke Mandeville
1984 New York
107 112 112 331 2
1988 Seoul 65 65 53 183 3
1992 Barcelona 40 47 41 128 3
1996 Atlanta 39 42 41 122 3
2000 Sydney 41 43 47 131 2
2004 Athens 35 30 29 94 2
2008 Beijing 42 29 31 102 2
2012 London 34 43 43 120 3
Total 562 545 535 1642 2

Medals by Winter Games[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
1976 Örnsköldsvik 0 0 0 0 10
1980 Geilo 0 0 0 0 11
1984 Innsbruck 0 4 6 10 12
1988 Innsbruck 0 0 0 0 16
1992 Tignes-Albertville 0 1 4 5 15
1994 Lillehammer 0 0 5 5 21
1998 Nagano 0 0 0 0 22
2002 Salt Lake City 0 0 0 0 23
2006 Turin 0 1 0 1 17
2010 Vancouver 0 0 0 0 21
2014 Sochi 1 3 2 6 10
Total 1 9 17 27 25

(Last updated: 14 March 2014)

Top Medal Winning Individuals[edit]

Summer Paralympics[edit]

Athlete Sport(s) Years Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
Kenny, MikeMike Kenny Swimming 1976–88 M 16 2 0 18
Grey-Thompson, TanniTanni Grey-Thompson Wheelchair racing 1992–2000 F 11 4 1 16
Roberts, DaveDave Roberts Swimming 2000–8 M 11 4 1 16
Storey, SarahSarah Storey Swimming, Cycling 1992–2004 F 11 8 3 22
Pearson, LeeLee Pearson Equestrian 2000-12 M 10 1 1 12

Winter Paralympics[edit]

Athlete Sport(s) Years Gender Gold Silver Bronze Total
Gallagher, KellyKelly Gallagher
Guide: Charlotte Evans
Alpine Skiing 2010-2014 F 1 0 0 1
Etherington, JadeJade Etherington
Guide: Caroline Powell
Alpine Skiing 2014 F 0 3 1 4
Smith, DeniseDenise Smith Ice Sledge Speed Racing 1984 F 0 3 0 3
Burt, RichardRichard Burt Alpine Skiing 1992-1994 M 0 1 3 4
Stockford, MatthewMatthew Stockford Alpine Skiing 1992-1994 M 0 0 4 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.paralympic.org/Events/London2012/AboutUs
  2. ^ "No place for 'NI', says Olympic Team GB", Belfast Telegraph, 10 March 2011
  3. ^ "Minister urges BOA to change 'erroneous Team GB name'". BBC News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Full text of the constitution" (PDF). Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  5. ^ "Mike Kenny (swimmer)". Paralympians' Club. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sarah Storey Britain's greatest Paralympian of the modern era". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Meet Britain's other greatest Paralympian". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  8. ^ Olympic Broadcasting Service, channel IPC1, Paralympics International Feed, "2012 Summer Paralympics Opening Ceremonies", airdate 29 August 2012
  9. ^ "Winter Paralympics: Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell claim fourth medal". The Guardian. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Etherington becomes GB's most successful female Winter paralympian". ESPN. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 

External links[edit]