1972 Summer Paralympics
|IV Paralympic Games|
German stamp: XXI. Weltspiele der Gelähmten Heidelberg 1972 (The image and color on the stamp is identical to the 1972 emblem)
|Host city||Heidelberg, West Germany|
|Events||187 in 10 sports|
|Opening ceremony||August 2|
|Closing ceremony||August 11|
|Officially opened by||President Gustav Heinemann|
|Paralympic Stadium||Institute for Physical Training|
As with previous Paralympics, the 1972 games were intended for wheelchair athletes only. However, demonstration events such as goalball and a 100 m sprint for the visually impaired allowed visually impaired competitors to participate for the first time.
- Goalball (demonstration sport)
- Lawn bowls
- Table tennis
- Wheelchair basketball
- Wheelchair fencing
The top ten listed NOCs by number of gold medals are listed below. The host nation, West Germany, is highlighted.
Forty-two delegations took part in the Heidelberg Paralympics.
South Africa was competing at the Paralympics for the third time. Although banned from the Olympic Games due to its policy of apartheid, it was not banned from the Paralympics until 1980, and West Germany, as host country, did not object to its participation. 
Rhodesia competed for the last time. Its invitation to take part in the 1972 Summer Olympics was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee four days before the opening ceremony, in response to African countries' protests against the Rhodesian government. But as the Paralympics that year were held before the Olympics (and independently from them), Rhodesia was able to take part in the 1972 Paralympic Games. 
- "Heidelberg 1972". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Medal Standings - Heidelberg 1972 Paralympic Games". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "'The Netherlands against Apartheid' - 1970s", International Institute of Social History
- South Africa at the Paralympics, International Paralympic Committee
- "1972: Rhodesia out of Olympics", BBC
- "Rhodesia expelled", Montreal Gazette, August 23, 1972