From Our Editor
Competitive sports opportunities for athletes with disabilities – named ‘para sport’ – have continued to expand rapidly over the past few decades. It is great to see that the recognition of these athletic achievements continues to increase.
It all began back in England with Sir Ludwig Guttmann who, after the end of World War II, decided to introduce sports as part of a rehabilitation programme for war veterans. This humble initiative laid the foundations for today’s Paralympic Movement. Para-athletes are athletes above all else – able to achieve the most extraordinary levels of performance.
The field of Paralympic Sports Medicine has emerged as an exciting and innovative area of medicine and science. The legendary president of the Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven, told us in his interview for our Journal: “Medical staff and team physicians must have the expertise to deal with medical issues specific to para-athletes.” The goal of this Targeted Topic is to update our knowledge on what sports medicine providers need to know when assisting these athletes.
In line with our editorial philosophy of inviting the leaders in their fields as Guest Editors for each of our Targeted Topics, we are proud to have Dr Cheri Blauwet, former Olympian medallist and Dr Wayne Derman, member of the International Olympic Committee Research Centre in South Africa, as the Guest Editors for this issue. Their vast experience, expertise and passion for Paralympic Sports have made this issue possible. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Blauwet and Dr Derman for their outstanding work on this Targeted Topic which, we hope, brings an insight into working with Paralympic athletes to our readers.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to an inspiring interview with the record-breaking Paralympic long jumper (T44), Markus Rehm, who has recently set yet another world record in his discipline.
Nebojsa Popovic MD PhD
From the Editor
Targeted Topic - Paralympic Athletes
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