The Paralympic Games grew from the work of the German born neurosurgeon, Dr. Ludwig Guttman, who came to England in 1939. Guttman's enduring legacy was to introduce competitive sport as an integral part of the rehabilitation of soldiers with spinal cord injuries sustained in World War II.

On 29 July 1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, Dr. Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games after the site of his rehabilitation venture. They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in Archery. In 1952, Dutch ex-servicemen joined the Movement and the International Stoke Mandeville Games were founded.

An attempt to connect the Olympic and Paralympic Games was not made again until 1960, when the International Stoke Mandeville Games were held in Rome just a few weeks after the Rome Olympic Games. These Games were organised for wheelchair athletes only, featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries. Since then they have taken place every four years.

Wheelchair tennis first featured at the Games as a demonstration sport at Seoul 1988 when four men and four women competed, paving the way for its full inclusion at the next Games in Barcelona when Randy Snow and Monique van den Bosch took the gold medals in singles. A quad division was added for the first time at the Paralympics at Athens 2004.

Since Seoul 1988, the Paralympic Games have also taken part in the same cities and venues as the Olympic Games due to an agreement between the IPC and IOC.

The Paralympic Games have grown exponentially since their inception and in London 2012 there were a total of 503 medal events across 11 days. More than 4,200 athletes from over 140 countries around the world competed with in excess of 2.5 million tickets sold to witness the spectacle.

Medal Table

After Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, the wheelchair tennis medal tally is:

Nation TOTAL Gold Silver Bronze
Netherlands 32 15 9 8
USA 15 6 6 3
France 12 1 4 7
Australia 8 1 4 3
Great Britain 6 2 2 2
Germany 5 0 1 4
Japan 4 3 0 1
Sweden 3 1 2 0
Israel 3 1 1 1
Thailand 1 0 1 0
Switzerland 1 0 0 1


Past Events

For reports from each previous Paralympic wheelchair tennis event, along with the individual medallists, please follow the links below:

- Seoul 1988  

- Barcelona 1992   

- Atlanta 1996   

- Sydney 2000    

- Athens 2004    

- Beijing 2008

- London 2012