Everyone Plays: Sports and Disability

Adaptive motocross racer Mike Schultz rides during an event

Athletes with disabilities have embraced the spirit of innovation to participate and excel in competitive sports by adapting equipment to suit their personal needs.

Adaptive sports began as rehabilitation for injured World War II veterans. Sports medicine and occupational therapy were in practice since 1920, but it wasn’t until after the war that these techniques were widely adopted. In 1948 a neurologist working with paralyzed veterans founded the Stoke Mandeville Games for the Paralyzed, and since then organized play for athletes with disabilities has expanded. Today the Paralympic Games and the X Games adaptive events offer opportunities for competition to thousands of athletes each year.

Photo: Adaptive motocross racer Mike Schultz, whose motorcycle, riding gear, and prosthetic was on display in Everyone Plays. Courtesy of No.Style Productions.

About the Artifact Walls

Artifact walls, consisting of 275 linear feet of glass-fronted cases lining the central first and second floors, highlight the depth and breadth of the collections. They reflect the Museum's core mission to collect, study, and exhibit objects from our nation's rich and diverse history. This display was one of the special cases that highlight anniversaries, views into the collections, and research findings.