ParalympicWheelchair Basketball in TEL
by Michael C. Bryce
|These games were played outside at the
Spivak Centre. The complete/incomplete divisions were removed. Women played in their own
5 team division for medals for the first time. No actual game sheets to
verify anything. Very interesting is the fact that these games were not
called Paralympics in the 1960's. The formal name given to these games
was the 17th International Stoke Mandeville Games in Israel. The teams
were housed in suburban Ramat Gan Tel Aviv and the basketball was played
in Ohel Shem High School in Ramat Gan and the Spivak Recreation Centre
for the Disabled which had an outdoor court.
At the 1964 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Mexican observers were present with the purpose of staging the Games together with the IXX Olympic Games in Mexico City. There was some surprise when two years prior to the 1968 event, the Mexican government backed out of the commitment to host the Paralympics because of technical difficulties.
Wanting to keep the tradition going, Sir Ludwig Guttmann accepted the invitation of the Israeli government and the ILAN Society (an Israeli organization for individuals with physical disabilities) to host the 1968 International Stoke Mandeville Games at Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv. Israel’s offer to host the Games was motivated by its wish to mark its 20th anniversary of independence.
The Opening Ceremony on 4 November was held at the Hebrew University stadium in Jerusalem, before a crowd of more than 10,000. The Games were declared open by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Yigal Allon. A total of 750 athletes from 29 countries participated.
Under the direction of Gershon Huberman, the sports program had enlarged considerably compared with the 1964 program in Tokyo. New events such as Lawn Bowls, women’s Basketball and the 100m wheelchair race for men were introduced. Changes were also introduced in the classification systems for Athletics, Basketball and Swimming. Nine events were on the sports program: Athletics (track and field events including Discus, Shot Put, Javelin and Club Throw), Basketball, Dart Archery, Fencing, Lawn Bowls, Snooker, Swimming, Table Tennis and Weightlifting.
Roberto Marson of Italy, then 25, was proclaimed outstanding athlete of the Games. After having won two gold medals in field events at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Marson had worked diligently to broaden his athletic participation to Swimming and Fencing. He won nine gold medals this time—three in field events, three in swimming and three in fencing. Another outstanding athlete was Lorraine Dodd, 24, from Australia. She set three Swimming records in her class, all on the same day. Ed Owen, 20, of the USA, turned in a harvest of medals—two gold in Athletics, a gold for the Pentathlon, two gold in Swimming, a silver in Basketball, and a bronze in Javelin.
Men’s Basketball saw an exciting and much-awaited final. After a close fight, Israel beat the US 47-37, under the excellent leadership of captain Baruch Hagai.
The Closing Ceremony on 13 November was held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds and attended by Deputy Prime Minister Allon. The 1968 Games were a success, with 20 records set within the 181 events held.
1968 Tel Aviv (Israel) MEDAL Totals
Tip Thiboutot and the late Stan Labanowich have brought wheelchair basketball's rich, 65-plus-year history to life, from its humble beginnings to the World Championships in Birmingham, England, in Wheelchairs Can Jump! Summaries of international medal matches played at the quadrennial Paralympic Games and the World Championships (formerly the Gold Cup) are relayed in vivid and descriptive detail. This definitive reference guide is the go-to source for all information on the world of wheelchair basketball, including detailed descriptions-complete with diagrams and figures-of rules, tactics, and equipment. The authors have recognized outstanding achievements both on the court and in the boardroom with comprehensive lists of the players, coaches, and administrators who planned and competed in the above tournaments. This book is the first such compilation of its kind in the realm of wheelchair basketball. The volume contains color photos of some of the most exciting moments in the sport and features many of the superstars who have defined how the game is played. Discover the fascinating story of one of the most spectacular and dynamic movements in sports for athletes with disabilities, written by two men who dedicated their lives to the sport and witnessed the evolution of wheelchair basketball firsthand. With extensive commentary and input from leading authorities in the field, Wheelchairs Can Jump! is the most complete and thorough history of the sport of wheelchair basketball to date.
to orderplease go to the website