Australia at the 1984 Summer Paralympics

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Australia at the
1984 Summer Paralympics
Flag of Australia.svg
IPC code AUS
NPC Australian Paralympic Committee
in Stoke Mandeville/New York
Competitors 109
Ranked 8th
Gold Silver Bronze Total
49 54 51 154
Summer Paralympics appearances (overview)

Australia competed at the 1984 Summer Paralympics that were held in two locations - Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom (wheelchair athletes with spinal cord injuries) and in the Mitchel Athletic Complex and Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, United States of America (wheelchair and ambulatory athletes with cerebral palsy, amputees, and "Les Autres" (the others) conditions as well as blind and visually impaired athletes). Four months before the beginning of the 1984 summer Paralympics, the University of Illinois terminating their contract to hold the Games.[1] Australia won 154 medals - 49 gold, 54 silver and 51 bronze medals. Australia competed in 9 sports and won medals in 6 sports. Australia finished 8th on the gold medal table and 7th on the total medal table.[2]

Notable Australian performances were:


The 1984 Summer Paralympics has become known as "The last minute games".[4] These Games were originally intended to be hosted by the University of Illinois but financial problems caused the university to pull out of hosting them three months before they were set to begin, "...without doubt resulting in a setback to the disability sports movement".[5] On short notice, Long Island and Stoke Mandeville took up the task of hosting the Games.[6] The NWAA felt that by hosting separate games, there would be more freedom for each disability group and more services could be provided to athletes.[7] With 1500 athletes and officials arriving from 41 different countries it was the 35 years experience of hosting national and international games that allowed the games to be put together so quickly and efficiently.[6][8] The sports stadium had been built in 1969 and ten years later the Olympic village had also been built to ensure disabled athletes always had Olympic facilities when others were closed.[6] However, a number of small problems arose throughout the initial planning phases for the games. The seating plan needed to allow the 300-seat stadium to sit 40 different countries. Organisers claimed that there were a number of minor diplomatic problems such as the Egyptian representative Admiral Latif and organisers not knowing how many of his wives and extended family were expected to come.[6] Furthermore, the flag the USA had provided was considerably larger than all the other nations' flags and organisers had to purchase larger flags for all other countries so the size difference wouldn’t show.[6]

With such a large number of people arriving, 43 nations worth of athletes and officials were never going to fit into the existing Olympic village. Alternate arrangements had to be made with the Japanese team sleeping in Mandeville School, the Israeli team sleeping at a local agriculture college, the American team sleeping at RAF Halton camp and hospital beds and Thame and High Wacombe also used as accommodation.[6] Smaller national teams stayed in the homes of locals with trainers and coaches camping in the backyard.[6]


Volunteers were in abundance throughout the Games. The spinal injuries ward was worked by volunteers and St Johns Ambulances to ensure nurses could be free for games duties.[6] Douglas Joss was released from his job on Aylesbury Council to organise local volunteers, known as Blue Banders.[6] Police said they couldn't help with marshalling the Games and the best they could do was put a few extra motorcycles out.[6] A volunteer badge was handed out to volunteers and it wasn't an uncommon site for people to be wearing 5 or 6 of the same badge with different years on it.[6]


The mascot for the 1984 Paralympic Games was Dan D. Lion, which was designed by an art teacher Maryanne McGrath Higgins.[9] The name was designed by Human Resources School, a special education institute for students with severe physical impairments in New York.[9] Running shoes and jogging clothes was the main attire the mascot wore. Dan D. Lion was only the mascot for the New York Games not the Stoke Mandeville Games which did not have an official mascot.[9]


Australia sent a large team of 58 athletes in Stoke Mandeville. These athletes were managed by George Dunstan and Don Perriman with medical supervision provided by Dr John Bourke, Sister Norma Beer and physiotherapist Maggie Beven, as well as 13 additional escorts. Australia sent 66 other athletes to the International Games for Disabled in New York. The largest components of competitors were Amputees (40) and Blind and Vision Impaired (21), while Cerebral Palsy (4) and an Australian “Les Autres” athlete attended the Games for the first time.[10]

Amputee Officials in New York - Berry Rickards (General Manager), Peter Carroll (Swim Coach/Manager), Brian Neighbour (Athletics Coach/Manager), Wayne Bradshaw (Athletics Assistant), Dr Les Cunningham (Sport Psychologist), Mark Mannin (Media)[11]
Blind Officilas in New York - J. Simon (General Manager), Jane Buckley (Physiotherapist)

Opening Ceremonies[edit]

New York[edit]

Patchy showers greeted the 14000 spectators packed into the Mitchel Park stadium for the 2pm start of the New York Games opening ceremony on the 19th June.[1] New York radio personality William B. Williams introduced everyone with a welcome speech.[1] Entertainers such as Bill Buzzeo and the Dixie Ramblers, Richie Havens, The New Image Drum and Bugle Corps, the ARC Gospel Chorus and the Square Dance Extravaganza followed the introduction speech.[1] Four helicopters then landed in the middle of a baseball field behind Mitchel Park, which marked the arrival of President Reagan.[1] Next followed Jiggs MacDonald, a famous sports announcer, calling the countries for the march led by Netherlands as the hosts of the 1980 Games with each country led by Boy and Girl Scouts from Nassau and Suffolk countries.[1]

Stoke Mandeville[edit]

Prince Charles landed on the Buckinghamshire County Council sports field via helicopter on the 22nd of July.[1] He was then escorted to the Stoke Mandeville stadium by Horace Poole, Chairman of the British Paraplegic Sports Society where Dr Robert Jackson made a welcome speech to the athletes on behalf of ISMGF (International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation).[1]

Closing Ceremonies[edit]

New York[edit]

Commander Archie Cameron, President of ICC officially closed the games with a short speech acknowledging the athletes and the next host nation, Seoul, South Korea. The flags of the games were then lowered and American athletes carried the flags back to the reviewing stand where they were handed over the President of the Games, Dr William T. Callahan.[1] Callahan then handed them over to the next President of the Seoul delegation, Mr Gee Woo Lee. Farewell addresses and a spiritual message then followed plus a complete black where everyone in the stadium held a light stick under a large firework display.[1]

Stoke Mandeville[edit]

The ceremony began with a parade of up to six athletes and their team manager entering the stadium behind a placard bearing their country's name.[1] Presentation of medals to the successful basketball teams were next which was then followed by the presentation of the first ever Sir Ludwig Gutmann Awards which are presented to an athlete and administrator for outstanding contribution to sport for the spinally paralysed.[1] Acknowledgment speeches then followed and the Games flag was taken to the podium where it was handed over to a representative from Korea as next host nation for the 1988 Games.[1]

Queenslanders in the Australian team for the 1984 Summer Paralympics in Stoke Mandeville. From left to right – Mike Nugent, Robert McIntyre, Michael Quinn, Carmel Williams, Roy Fowler, Susan Davies, Alan Dufty, Kerri-Anne Connor, Peter Marsh, and Ken Moran


Spinal and Cord Injury Australia’s team won 19 gold medals in Stoke Mandeville and over half of the athletes at the VII World Wheelchair secured medals. If we combine both the International Games for the disabled in New York and the VII World Wheelchair Games at Stoke Mandeville, as the New York/Stoke Mandeville 1984 Paralympic Games, Australia had he most successful Paralympic Games since Tel Aviv 1968. The combined team won 49 gold medals, 54 silver medals and 51 bronze medals to finish eight on the medal tally.[12]

Stoke Mandeville Australian Athlete Participation Reports[edit]


Sport Male Female Total
Archery 5 1 0
Athletics 44 11 55
Boccia 0 0 0
Cycling 0 0 0
Equestrian 0 0 0
Football 7-a-side 0 0 0
Goalball 0 0 0
Lawn Bowls 10 0 10
Powerlifting 0 0 0
Shooting 5 0 5
Snooker 0 0 0
Swimming 14 15 29
Table Tennis 1 0 1
Volleyball 0 0 0
Weightlifting 1 0 1
Wheelchair Basketball 0 0 0
Wheelchair Fencing 0 0 0
Wrestling 0 0 0

Australia World Record Holders[edit]



Name Event
Barbara Caspers, S.A. Class 1C (Quad) Air Rifle

(all positions)

Julie Dowling, TAS. Class 4 (Para) Javelin
Tracey Freeman, QLD. Class 1C (Quad) Shotput

-60m Track

Libby Kosmala, S.A. Class 2 (Para) Air Rifle

(all positions)


Name Event
Alan Chadwick, NSW. Class 1A (Quad) Air Rifle


Alan Dufty, QLD. Class 1C (Quad) 400m Track
Terry Giddy, NSW. Class 4 (Para) Discus
Michael Nugent, QLD. Class 2 (Para) 400m Track
Wayne Patchet, NSW. Class 1A (Quad) Shotput Discus- Club
Eric Russell, SA. Class 3 (Para) Shotput
Wayne Ryding, VIC Class 5 (Para) 100m Freestyle




Australia represented by:
MenStephen Austen, David Higgins, Eric Klein, Russell Shinn, Ian Trewhella
WomenSusan Davies
[2] Australia won 3 medals - 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal.


Australia represented by:
MenTerry Biggs, Paul Bird, K. Bley, Murray Buck, Bailey Compton, Paul Croft, Donald Dann, Mark Davies, Michael Desanto, Neil Dixon, Alan Dufty, Joe Egan, David Evans, Vernon Ezzy, John Federico, Ian Gainey, Terry Giddy, Nicky Gleeson, David Goodman, James Hoggan, Brett Holcombe, Peter Kirby, Warren Lawton, Peter Marsh, Kerrod McGregor, Robert McIntyre, Jeff McNeil, David McPherson, Michael Morley, Stephen Muir, Panayiotis (Peter) Negropontis, Michael Nugent, John Payne, Michael Quinn, David Regan, Stephen Sargolia, John Sheil, Darryl Smith, Peter Trotter, Robert Turner, Jeff Wiseman, Garry Woolgar
WomenLynette Coleman, Julie Dowling, Meredith Jones, Margaret Murphy, Jan Randles, Prue-Anne Reynalds, Amanda Rose, Julie Russell, Donna Smith, Catherine Watson, Valerie Woodbridge
[2] Australia won 58 medals - 17 gold, 19 silver and 22 bronze medals. Coaches - D. Reed (blind), D. Regan (blind) Officials - R. Carlton (Manager - Blind), B. Dunk (blind), L. O'Brien (blind), _


Men - Theo Bottom, Graham Coulton, Martin Furness, Nick Gleeson, Greg Scott, Leigh Sloan
Coach - S. Bennett Officials - M. Downey [14]

Lawn Bowls[edit]

Australia represented by:
MenDavid Boldery, John Forsberg, Roy Fowler, Wayne Lewis, Eric Magennis, Ken Moran, John Newton, Clifford Swann, Robert Wedderburn, Keith Zotti
[2] Australia won 8 medals - 2 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. Roy Fowler won 2 gold medals.


Australia represented by:
MenTroy Andrews, Kevin Bawden, Keith Bremner, Allan Chadwick, Peter Parker, Andrew Rainbow, Stanley Sims, Grant Walker
WomenBarbara Caspers, Elizabeth Kosmala
[2] Australian team won 9 gold medals - Barbara Caspers and Elizabeth Kosmala both won 4 gold medals and Allan Chadwick one gold medal.


Australia represented by:
Men - Don Campbell


Australia represented by:
MenPaul Bird, Craig Blackburn, Kingsley Bugarin, Malcom Chalmers, Geoffrey Fowler, David Griffin, Gary Gudgeon, Gregory Hammond, Michael Kelly, Alan Morley, Michael Quinn, Wayne Ryding, Robert Staddon, Phillip Tracey, Robert Walden
WomenHelena Brunner, Lynette Coleman, Kerri-Anne Connor, Anne Currie, Therese Donovan, Rosemary Eames, Kerrie Engel, Meredith Evans, Deborah Holland, Ursula King, Tracey Lewis, Jan Miller, Mary-Anne Wallace, Carol Young
Coaches - G. Brown (Blind) Officials - J. Blackburn (Manager - Blind) Swimming was Australia's most successful sport at the combined Games winning 74 medals - 20 gold, 30 silver and 24 bronze.

Table Tennis[edit]

Australia represented by:
MenTerry Biggs
,[2] Paul Croft, Garry Croker, Joe Marlow, Errol Smith
Australian won a gold medal through Terry Biggs performance.


Australia represented by:

MenBrian McNicholl[2]
Australia did not win a medal. Brian McNicholl came 4th in his event.[15]

Wheelchair Basketball[edit]

Australia represented by:
Men – Michael Callahan, Kevin Coombs, David Gould, Erich Hubel, Ch. Ikstrum, Michael McFaun, Nick Morozoff, Richard Oliver, P. Peterson, Mark Pope, coached by Bruno Moretti
[16] Australia did not win a medal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Brittain,From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Australian Resullts at New York./Stoke Mandeville Paralympic Games". International Paralympic Committee Historical Results Database. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c “Australian results at the 1976 Paralympics” ( ‘’International Paralympic Committee Results Database’’. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Paralympic archive: Last-minute Games (1984)". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  5. ^ Bailey, Steve (2008). Athlete First: A history of the paralympic movement. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 26–35. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k (, Community Sites. "Mandeville Legacy". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  7. ^ Brittain, Ian (2012). From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: A history of the Summer Paralympic Games. Illinois: Common Ground Publishing. 
  8. ^ "Paralympic archive: Last-minute Games (1984)". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  9. ^ a b c "New York 1984 Paralympic Mascot Dan D. Lion - Photos & History". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  10. ^ 1984 APC report” ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2012-05-26. )
  11. ^ "Australian Team 1984 Disabled Olympics, Long Island, New York". Ampsports: 53–54. March 1984. 
  12. ^ “1984 APC report” ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2012-05-26. )
  13. ^ International Paralympic Committee (2008). "Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984". International Paralympic Committee. 
  14. ^ "Australian team to attend the International Games for the Disabled, New York 1984". Olympic gold : Australian blind sport and athletes magazine. 2 (Winter 1984): 38. 
  15. ^ "Results of VII World Wheelchair Games". Sports 'n spokes: 12. Nov–Dec 1984. 
  16. ^ Labanowich, Stan; Thiboutot, Armand. "Team Rosters:Paralympic Games (Men) 1980–1984" (PDF). Wheelchairs Can Jump. Retrieved 4 October 2012.