Today, Google pays tribute to Sir Ludwig Guttmann. The doodle honours the founder of the Paralympic Games on his 122nd birthday, which is celebrated on July 3.
The Google Doodle was created by an artist named Ashanti Fortson, who is a guest artist from Baltimore. It depicts Sir Luttmann in the centre, as well as several scenes from Paralympic Games.
Who is Ludwig Guttmann?
Ludwig Guttmann, also known as ‘Poppa,’ was born on July 3, 1899, in the town of Tost (now Toszek in Poland). He went on to become a well-known neurologist, and his research on spinal cord injuries and neurosurgical procedures helped him become one of Germany’s most prolific neurologists.
Being Jewish in Germany during the rise of Nazism, on the other hand, was more of a curse. He was not allowed to practise medicine in the country in 1933. With his own life on the line, he managed to flee the country and find refuge in England in 1939.
There, he conducted additional research, particularly on a condition known as paraplegia. He organised an archery contest for wheelchair users in 1948, which became the inspiration for what is now known as the ‘Paralympic Games.’ It was called the ‘Stoke Mandeville Games’ back then, after the hospital where he worked.
In 1960, Sir Guttmann declared the first-ever international Paralympic Games open. While his research in spinal cord injuries and other aspects of neurology will be remembered by the medical community around the world, his invaluable contribution to providing a platform for the disabled community to show what they have will be remembered.
The Paralympic Games have broken down barriers and brought people together to celebrate the disabled community and the limitless possibilities for them to perform to the best of their abilities.