Google honoured Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who founded the Paralympic movement, with a Google Doodle on his 122nd birth anniversary on Saturday. The illustration was made by Baltimore-based guest artist Ashanti Fortson.
The doodle “celebrates the 122nd birthday of Jewish, German-born British neurologist Professor Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, founder of the Paralympic movement,” the Google Doodle website said.
Guttman was born on July 3, 1899 in Tost, Germany, which now comes under Poland. He was forced to leave Germany in wake of the increasing persecution of Jews during the Nazi rule. Guttman, who was one of the top neurosurgeons of Germany that time, escaped to England in 1939 with his family.
As the head of the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948, he organized an archery competition for wheelchair users, which later came to be known as the “Stoke Mandeville Games”, breaking down barriers of disability for sports. It later evolved into Paralympic Games.
With global attention, Stoke Mandeville Games went international in 1960 and saw participation of about 400 athletes with disabilities from across the world.
Guttmann was knighted by Britain’s Queen in 1966. He died on March 18, 1980.