1972 Summer Paralympics

The 4th Summer Paralympics were held from 1 August to 10 August 1972 as the XXI. World Games instead of the lame man in Heidelberg. As in 1968, the Games were held not in the same city as the Summer Olympics. The opened by German President Gustav Heinemann competitions were held in a total of seven days.

Originally the Paralympics should also take place in Munich as the Summer Olympics, but the conversion of the Olympic Village was planned immediately after the conclusion of the games, so that the participants in the Paralympics could not be accommodated there. Therefore Heidelberg jumped in as host. Great applause was erected as a communications center on the sports premises beer tent - this idea was adopted for the subsequent Paralympics.

The Paralympics were held on the sports facilities of the University of Heidelberg Im Neuenheimer Feld and the new federal power center. The German -disabled sports federation took over the organization of the Games. For the first time the visually impaired from Germany took part in new sports or disciplines. In total, there were 1004 athletes from 41 countries participating, who fought for medals and places. Large military buses of the U.S. Army brought the athletes and coaches from the accommodations to the sports facilities.

Success of the German team

Germany won in 1972 for the first time in first place in the national rankings. Before a home crowd were a total of 67 medals, including 28 gold medals won. Edmund Weber was with three wins ( shot put, discus and javelin ) and a third place in table tennis is the most successful German athletes. A total of six additional participants each won three medals.

Participating nations

Germany with its 80 athletes the greatest team, followed by the UK and France. The following nations participated in the Games:

  • Egypt 1972 Egypt
  • Argentina Argentina
  • Australia Australia
  • Bahamas 1964 Bahamas
  • Belgium
  • Germany Germany BR BR
  • Brazil 1968 Brazil
  • Denmark Denmark
  • Finland Finland
  • France France
  • Hong Kong 1959 Hong Kong
  • India India
  • Ireland Ireland
  • Israel Israel
  • Italy Italy
  • Jamaica Jamaica
  • Japan Japan
  • Canada Canada
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia Malaysia
  • Malta Malta
  • Mexico Mexico
  • New Zealand New Zealand
  • Netherlands The Netherlands
  • Norway Norway
  • Austria Austria
  • Peru Peru
  • Poland Poland
  • Portugal
  • Rhodesia Rhodesia
  • Romania 1965 Romania
  • Sweden Sweden
  • Switzerland Switzerland
  • Spain 1945 Spain
  • South Africa 1961 South Africa
  • Flag of South Korea South Korea
  • Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
  • Uganda Uganda
  • Hungary 1957 Hungary
  • United States United States
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia


In the 4th Summer Paralympics competitions were held in ten sports. Goalball and the 100 m run for the Blind was only recognized as a demonstration event.

  • Archery
  • Darts
  • Weightlifting
  • Athletics
  • Lawn Bowling
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair fencing
  • Swimming
  • Snooker
  • Table tennis

For final wheelchair basketball between Israel and the U.S. were over 4,000 spectators.