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Antonio Maglio: who is the doctor behind the Paralympics

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Antonio Maglio: who is the doctor behind the Paralympics
Written by aquitodovale

“Hard wall” is the Rai fiction broadcast on May 16 in honor of the figure of Antonio Magliodoctor considered the pioneer of Paralympic sport in Italy. Maglio invented the Paralympic Games whose first edition took place in Rome in 1960.

A figure who has remained in history for his conception of making disability live in a different way, opening them to the world of sport as a therapy to improve their lives. Let’s retrace the story of the protagonist of the Rai 1 fiction Antonio Maglio.

Antonio Maglio: who he is

Born in Cairo on July 8, 1912, Antonio Maglio was an Italian doctor and activist. Since graduating in Medicine and Surgery in 1935 he has been interested in rehabilitation therapies for the disabled. Among these, that of letting them practice various sports because it was considered useful for improving their life expectancy and for reintegrating them into a society that was leaving them on the sidelines.

The turning point came when he began to follow the ideas of the Anglo-German neurologist Ludwig Guttmann. Guttmann also believed that sport was the only solution to relieve disabled patients. Maglio introduced wheelchair sport by letting all his patients practice athletics, swimming, basketball, fencing, table tennis and archery.

For this reason he is considered the founder of Paralympic sport. Guttmann, director of the most important motor rehabilitation center in England, had already organized international games in Stoke Mandeville. In the first edition 16 people participated, 14 men and 2 women who challenged each other in archery.

Over the years the event gained more and more popularity in the world until 1956 when it too Antonio Maglio he decided to take his patients to Stoke Mandeville.

But that place began to get tight and so the Italian doctor began his work of mediation to try to bring the games to Rome by promising Guttmann to put all his influence on the Italian political and sports authorities of the time to organize the games. in the same structures that would have served for the Olympics of the able-bodied in 1960.

And Maglio, thanks also to his position as manager of Inail, succeeded in bringing the games to Rome in 1960, managing to make the two events coincide.

The event took place from 18 to 25 September 1960 in the Acqua Acetosa plants, two weeks after the closing of the Olympics. It was attended by 400 athletes from 23 different countries with an audience of 5,000 people. Athletes competed in archery, javelin, basketball, swimming and fencing competitions. Italy won 80 medals.

Although that event did not yet have the name of Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee considers it as the first edition of the Games.

Maglio continued his activity until the 1980s by competing dozens and dozens of Italian paraplegic athletes in international competitions. As a medical consultant for Inail, he has also experimented with new techniques and methodologies for rehabilitation, improving the lifestyles of these people.

Antonio Maglio: the two events that changed his life

Antonio Maglio was married to Maria Stella Calà who supported the doctor’s exploits throughout his life. She herself witnessed episodes that particularly marked her husband’s existence, so much so as to convince him even more to do something for disabled people.

The first episode concerns a visit to paralyzed boys which took place in Palestrina in the province of Rome which marked Maglio’s soul, stirring in him the desire to do something that would not leave these people immobile.

The second episode concerns the pain of the death of his son from his 6-year-old first wife due to meningitis.

Rai fiction “A hard snout – Champions of life”: cast and how to see it

Rai wanted to pay homage to Antonio Maglio with a fiction broadcast on May 16 at 9.25pm ​​on Rai Uno. The direction is by Marco Pontecorvo while the protagonist is played by Flavio Insinna, one of the most beloved television characters who this year has returned to take on the role of the actor again.

For those who cannot see the fiction broadcast on Rai Uno at the indicated time, they can also do so in streaming on the Rai Play app at a time other than the broadcast.

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