How the Paralympics Were Born
Britain's National Spinal Injuries Center is pleased with its link to the Paralympic Games. The idea for the event began here 60 years ago. Dot Tussler is the head of physical therapy at the center. DOT TUSSLER: "We know some of those people competing, and we know that their journey started here, so we're behind them all the way." Dot Tussler says the hospital uses sports to help people recover from their injuries. DOT TUSSLER: "We use sport as a vehicle for improving balance, strength, coordination, wheelchair skills and wheelchair mobility. As well as those physical attributes, you can then go on to build the funner element of doing things together in a group." The patients do that at a sports center that honors a refugee doctor who came to Britain from Nazi Germany. Dr. Ludwig Guttmann believed that sports would help heal his patients, both physically and emotionally. His beliefs led to the Paralympics, which take place shortly after the Olympics. The games help patients like 24-year-old Christopher Haynes believe they can lead full lives again. He was injured in a diving accident. He has faced a long recovery period after many operations. CHRISTOPHER HAYNES: "You play the games that are suitable for you. So it's ... because they've been doing it for so long, they know exactly what you're... because I'm tall, because I'm young, I'm suitable for, you know, wheelchair rugby." Chris is ready to move out of the hospital. He wants to be part of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. CHRISTOPHER HAYNES: "It's inspirational. It, like, lets you know what you can do in three or four years. I need to start playing sports. There's no reason I shouldn't. You know, back to work, get back to my social life, get myself a girlfriend. And if all goes well, you know, try and aim for Rio." I'm June Simms.