With the Olympic Games approaching, Google honoured Sir Ludwig Guttmann, father of the Paralympic Games with a doodle on his 122nd birthday. The illustration was made by Baltimore-based artist Ashanti Fortson.
As described by Google Doodle website, the Jewish, German-born British neurologist Professor Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann was the force behind the Paralympic movement which brought recognition to Paralympic athletes, their skills and achievements.
Taking to Twitter, the tech giant shared a doodle. They also shared a blog link documenting the life and works of Guttmann.
Happy birthday to German-born, British neurologist Prof. Sir Ludwig Guttmann!
An innovator who helped patients rehabilitate through sports, Guttmann is the founder of the Paralympic movement🥇#GoogleDoodle 🎨 by guest artist @ashantifortson → https://t.co/NrzyUB4TdB pic.twitter.com/5NEaeX0Mt4
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) July 3, 2021
“Happy birthday to German-born, British neurologist Prof. Sir Ludwig Guttmann! An innovator who helped patients rehabilitate through sports, Guttmann is the founder of the Paralympic movement,” they wrote. They also added that the doodle was created by cartoonist Ashanti Fortson.
The birth of Paralympic Games
Born on July 3, 1899, Guttman escaped to England in 1939 from his birthplace Germany in the wake of the increasing prosecution of Jews during the Nazi rule. In 1948, as the head of the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Guttman organised “Stoke Mandeville Games”, an 16-person archery competition for wheelchair users, while encouraging disabled into sports.
Stoke Mandeville Games which went international in 1960 and saw a participation of around 400 athletes with disabilities from across the world, evolved into the Paralympic Games. For his remarkable contributions, he was also knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 1966.
Unfortunately, Guttmann suffered a heart attack and passed away on March 18, 1980 at the age of 80.