Ask the Anorak!

If you have a question about the Paralympic, Stoke Mandeville or Commonwealth Paraplegic Games or a suggestion for a topic you’d like me to write about please leave it here! I’m not guaranteeing to have the answers to all questions, but I’ll give it my best shot. Some questions may take longer than others to answer depending upon the amount of digging I have to do, so please be patient. If I truly don’t have the answer to your question – I’ll tell you and, if possible, try to point you in the direction of somewhere or someone where you might get it answered!


34 responses to “Ask the Anorak!

  1. what disability does mike kenny have?

    • Hi Hannah, it would appear that Mike had an accident in 1971 that damaged his spinal cord and he started swimming as part of his rehabilitation at Southport Spinal Injury Unit. From his classification for his swimming races it would also appear that Mike is a quadraplegic, which means the spinal injury affected the use of both his legs and his arms. When only the legs are affected it is called paraplegia. I hope this helps with the piece you are writing!

  2. Good morning,

    Super blog. For the 1956 Stoke Mandeville Games, Germany sent a team. I would like to ask if they were ex-servicemen?

    I’m a Buckinghamshire resident. In the past I should have paid more attention to the Paralympics. The Best of Men film with Eddie Marsan was wonderful.

    Once again, super blog.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Simon, I’m actually in London for the Paralympics until 10th September and all my research archives are in my office in Coventry. I’ll try to answer your enquiry as soon as I can after my return!


  3. Hello!

    Is there a list anywhere of the names of the competitors who took part in the 1948 Stoke Mandeville games? It’s just they showed some footage last night of the archery competition and I’m 90% sure I saw my uncle competing. He was injured in the war in 1943/1944 and spent a lot of time at Stoke Mandeville so it all makes sense but I had no idea he ever competed like this.

    If you can tell me where I can find this information, or who might be able to help me, I’d be grateful. His name, in case you find it, was H P Deadman, but was known to all as Pat. Sadly, he died in a car crash in 1979 and his wife died in 1994 so we can’t ask her if it was so. My mum was quite young when the 1948 games happened so although she thinks she saw him too, she cannot say with 100% certainty that it was him.


    • Hi Kate, I’m actually in London at the Paralympics until 10th September. My history book From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: A history of the summer Paralympic Games names four of the stoke archers from 1948 and shows pictures of the un-named four. If you have a photo of your uncle from that time period I should be able to tell you fairly definitively on my return to Coventry if he was part of the Stoke team in 1948 or not


      • Thanks Ian. Hope you had a good time at the Paralympics. If you could take a look at the names, I’d be grateful. I don’t have a picture myself but my mum has a few pictures of him, but not necessarily from that period but he barely changed in 30 years. My mum says she thinks it was him and the times and dates all make sense.

      • Hi Kate,
        as I said I only have four confirmed names and HP Deadman is not one of them. I have photographs, but no names for the other four and so need a photograph to compare. That way if he was one of the four I can add his name to the team list


  4. Gday from NZ

    Two questions actually. First about the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games; do you have any details about medallists, in particular, NZ teams?

    And 2nd, I know Neroli Fairhall, Natalie du Toit and now Oscar Pistorius have competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics. How many others have done so?

    (And yeah sure, replies can wait until you get back from London. I was in London for the Olympics, hope the Paralympics are just as good for you.)

    • Hi Robbie, yes I can provide all NZL medallists from three of the CPGs. Havent managed to find a complete set of results from the 1966 Kingston, Jamaica Games yet.

      Off the top of my head I can think of Natalya Partyka (POL) in table tennis and Marla Runyan (USA) in Athletics. Will get back to you with any others.


  5. Thanks Ian. I will ask my mum if she find a photo and send it to me – she lives in Bucks and I’m in Lancashire. (Funny really, I’m in Coventry this weekend!)

  6. Anorak do you have the names of Madrid 1992 medalists ?

  7. Hello, I have two questions to ask you for a math project:
    1) How many men athletes and women athletes participatedin the 2004 Paralympics (occuring in Athens, Greece)
    2) How many men athletes and women athletes participatedin the 2008 Paralympics (occuring in Beijing, China)

    Thank you so much for answwering this.

  8. Thanks so much for replying so quickly!
    I have another question (sorry for bothering you), this one is about the regular olympics. (If you do not know, don’t worry:))
    –> How many men athletes and women athletes participated in the 2012 summer olympics? (In London, UK)

    I cannot seem to find this information anywhere online!

    • This information probably wont be available until the middle of next year when the IOC have carefully scrutinised all the statistics for London. All they will say for now is around 10,500 total. It took me until about sometime in 2009 to get the gender breakdown by sport and country for Beijing 2008! The Paralympics, however, have their figures out – 2779 Men, 1523 women, 4302 total, but this does include 65 non-disabled individuals – 12 rowing coxes, 37 cycling pilots and 16 5-a-side goalkeepers for blind football.

  9. Anorak did you has informations about the Opening Ceremonies of all Paralympic Games since 1960 ?

    • Hi, apologies for the slow response, but I’ve been on holiday re-charging the batteries in the sunshine! My book, from Stoke Mandeville to Stratford: a history of the summer Paralympic Games contains a paragraph (usually around half a page) on each of the Summer Paralympic Opening ceremonies since 1960 as well as key information about who lit the flame, took the oath, officially opened the Games etc.

  10. Hi Ian, first of all – I love what you’re currently researching – wonderful stuff. I’d love to get to the PhD stage. Ahhh, one day!

    I’m a disabled Tai Chi-er these days. I have multiple conditions but I’m a stubborn patient so I work hard at the physio’! I’ve been trying to find any links to Tai Chi as a disabled sport and have come up with nothing, (despite it’s common use for conditions such as CF, ME, Fibromyalgia, CRPS etc it just doesn’t seem to get a mention). I would love to find some way to connect with other practitioners, (other than asking all the other competitors at the UK Tai Chi Nationals if they happen to be disabled too)! But it’s looking less and likely as my online searches and queries posed to disabled sports organisations in the UK aren’t coming up with anything, not even a polite reply in the negative. So, you know what? It would be wonderful to have some sort of contact with any other disabled sports peeps of *any* discipline. Particularly those with ill health that they are working through. If you have any ideas I’d really appreciate it. I know this isn’t quite the anorak question you usually get, but those of us involved in research tend to be pretty enthusiastic about our specialist areas, so I thought it worth a try 😉

    Big kudos for what you are exploring through your research, and my very best wishes to you, too,


  11. I would be interested to know some details about Pat Vizard Do you know if she won a gold medal for archery in 1962 or 1966?

    • Hi Sarah,

      apologies for the slow response, but all my reference material is stored at work. I can find no mention of Pat Vizard winning a medal in Archery at the International Stoke Mandeville Games in either 1962 or 1966. She did compete in the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for Northern Ireland in Perth, Australia in 1962 and Kingston, Jamaica in 1966. She didnt win a medal in Perth. Sadly full results are not available for Kindston as yet (at least I havent found them). I know Ireland won 2 gold medals in Kingston, but I dont know who won them. Are you asking with reference to specific medals in your possession? If so you could send me images and I can confirm which Games they came from,

      Best Wishes


  12. Hello,
    i am looking for result sheets from the para table tennis world championships 1982 (Stoke Mandeville), 1987 (Brisbane), and from the european para table tennis championships 1979,1981,and 1983. those competitions were all held under the governance of ISMGF. Maybe you can find something in your archive which would be great.

    Many thanks

  13. Dear Dr. Brittain,
    My grandfather participated in different editions of the stoke Mandeville games during 1960. His name was Amerigo Felici and I was told he won some golden medals and made a word record; I’d like to know more about his achievement in the games and I was told to ask you.
    Could you help me?
    Thank you in advance.
    Yours faithfully,

    • Amerigo Felici (ITA) known results

      Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games

      Field Events

      Men’s Club Throw B 4 Felici ITA 35.05

      Men’s Discus B 6 Felici ITA 20.32

      Men’s Javelin B 7 Felici ITA 16.82

      Table Tennis

      Men’s Singles B lost to Ditlevsen (DEN) in 2nd Round (Bye in first round)

      Mens Doubles C (with Prisma) lost to Hughes & Gibson (IRL) in 2nd Round after beating Dahlgren & Jacobson (NOR) in 1st Round.

      Confirmed Stoke Mandeville Games Participation

      1965 Stoke Mandeville Games

      Men’s Club Throw B 1 Felici ITA 129ft 8 New Record

      1966 – Not on Italian Team List

      1967 – No results currently available

      1969 Stoke Mandeville Games

      Men’s Javelin Class 3 5 Felici ITA 16.57m
      Men’s Discus Class 3 4 Felici ITA 19.55m
      Men’s Club Class 3 3 Felici ITA 36.11m

      1970 – No Team list available. Not in top five in any event (Results only go to fifth) May not have competed.

      1971 – Not on Italian Team List

      1973 Stoke Mandeville Games

      Men’s Javelin Class II 3 Felici ITA 16.52m
      Men’s Discus Class 2 6 Felici ITA 18.89m

      I do not currently possess a set of results for the 1967 Stoke Mandeville Games and so am unable to check whether he competed.

  14. Thanks for your prompt answer.

  15. Dear Dr Ian Brittain

    I am Takashi ABE from Special Needs Education Reserch Center, University of Tsukuaba, JAPAN.Now I’m studying about International Stoke Mandeville Games. Would you please tell me participating country names of the Games from 1961 to 1963. I am looking forward to your reply.

    Regards, Takashi Abe

    • Dear Takashi-san, thank you for your enquiry. I assume you already received the data for 1948-1959 sent to you by the IWAS office from my book. If you wish to consult this book further there should be a copy in the TIAS offices as I left one when I was there for the TIAS/ AISTS short seminar last year. Please ask Hanashi Sanada or Yuko Ueda where it is. I dont currently have the data for 1961 to 1963 to hand in my office. I will need to find it from my archives at home this evening and will do my best to send it to you tomorrow, Best Wishes, Ian

  16. Dear Dr Ian Brittain

    Thank you very much for your cooperation.
    I am looking forward to your reply.

    Best Wishes,Takashi

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