“I watched the movie for the second time with my family and we all were in tears. It wasn’t tears of 'I feel so sorry for you.' It was tears of pride, seeing what myself and these other athletes have overcome and also the challenges that we’ve all accepted.”
‘Rising Phoenix’ is a great documentary featuring nine Paralympians from across the world.
This cutting-edge Netflix movie tells the remarkable story of the Paralympic Games from the rubble of World War II until becoming the third biggest sporting event on the planet.
‘Rising Phoenix’ examines how the Paralympics have sparked a global movement throughout the decades and shows how it continues to change the way the world thinks about disability, excellence, diversity and human potential.
Bebe Vio (Italy), Ellie Cole (Australia), Jean-Baptiste Alaize (France), Matt Stutzman (USA), Jonnie Peacock (Great Britain), Cui Zhe (China), Ryley Batt (Australia), Ntando Mahlangu (South Africa) and Tatyana McFadden (USA) are the nine Paralympic athletes whose exceptional stories are depicted.
HISTORY OF THE PARALYMPIC MOVEMENT
The word “Paralympic” derives from the Greek preposition “para” (beside or alongside) and the word “Olympic”.
Sport for athletes with an impairment has existed for more than 100 years, and the first sport clubs for the deaf were already in existence in 1888 in Berlin.
It was not until after World War II however, that it was widely introduced. The purpose of it at that time was to assist the large number of war veterans and civilians who had been injured during wartime.
In 1944, at the request of the British Government, Dr. Ludwig Guttmann opened a spinal injuries centre at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Great Britain, and in time, rehabilitation sport evolved to recreational sport and then to competitive sport.
STOKE MANDEVILLE GAMES
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, a milestone in Paralympic history. They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery.
FIRST PARALYMPIC GAMES
The Stoke Mandeville Games later became the Paralympic Games which first took place in Rome, Italy, in 1960 featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries. Since then they have taken place every four years.