The very first men’s and woman’s Paralympic gold medallists were both Italian

Possibly aided by pouring rain on the very first day of competition that led to all outdoor programmed sports such as archery being cancelled for the day the honour and place in history of being the first ever men’s and women’s Paralympic gold medallists went to two Italians. Due to the rain only indoor or covered sports such snooker, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair fencing actually went ahead on the first day of competition (Monday September 19th 1960) and for the first two sports it was only the early rounds of competition. It was left, therefore, to the winners of the individual sabre for men and the individual foil for women to take this place in history. Sixteen men from Australia (3), Belgium (2), France (2) Great Britain (2) and Italy (7) and eight women from Belgium (1), Great Britain (3) and Italy (4) took part in these two competitions with Italy actually taking the first four places in both competitions. To cap it all the Italians also went on to take all three medals in the only other wheelchair fencing event – the team sabre, with a team consisting of two fencers. However, the two individuals who took their place in history as the first ever Paralympic Games gold medallists were Aurelio Tedone for the Men and Anna Maria Toso for the women.

Aurelio Tedone

Rome 1960 – Wheelchair Fencing (Individual and Team Sabre) 2 gold medals

Anna Maria Toso

Rome 1960 – Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis and Wheelchair Fencing

Tokyo 1964 – Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis and Wheelchair Fencing




Athletics 3 silver, 1 bronze 2 gold, 2 silver
Swimming 2 gold, 1 silver 1 gold, 2 silver
Table Tennis 1 silver, 1 bronze 1 silver
Wheelchair Fencing 1 gold 2 gold
Games total 3 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze 5 gold, 5 silver
Overall total

8 gold, 10 silver, 2 bronze (20 medals)



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