Australia at the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Paraplegic Games

Similar to the Kingston Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, the Edinburgh games began immediately following the able-bodied Commonwealth Games. The Edinburgh organising committee decided to keep the theme of the existing logo but adapted it to incorporate the Scottish emblem of the thistle. The selection of the thirty-two strong Australian team was not without controversy, with the omission of Victoria’s Sportsman of the Year, Bruno Moretti, but there was a shared desire to challenge the dominance of the English, established four years previously.

Australia and England fought it out again to be recognised as the premier nation. England took the honours. Australia, though, had some incredible individual performances. Two athletes stood out in an international context: Robert McIntyre, the nation’s only male track athlete, was the best male athlete at the Games winning five gold, one silver and one bronze medal; Australia’s Cherrie Lloydstrom (later Ireland) won more medals than any other athlete. Libby Kosmala also had an outstanding competition, taking home two golds, a silver and four bronze medals. The Paraplegic Games in Edinburgh also marked the end of Kevin Cunningham’s and Gary Hooper’s participation in international competition. Cunningham and Hooper were very successful athletes in the era of multi-sport competitors. Hooper had a record of contesting as many as thirteen events in a single competition. In the lead up to Hooper’s retirement, he was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (1969) for “achievements at the Paraplegic Olympics“.

Australia and England fought it out again to be recognised as the premier nation at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1970.