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Process for World Sailing's Application for 2028 Summer Paralympic Games unveiled by IPC

by World Sailing 2 Feb 22:02 PST
Sweden's youngest Paralympian Fia Fjelddhahl who competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games aged 17 years © Cate Brown / World Sailing

Yesterday, World Sailing, the international federation for the sport of sailing and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), attended a virtual briefing by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as it outlined the terms and timeline for sports seeking inclusion in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, USA. International federations (IFs) seeking inclusion were invited to participate in the hour-long session led by IPC President, Andrew Parsons, and J├╝rgen Padberg, Paralympic Games Sport & NPC Services Senior Manager Project Lead.

"World Sailing has put the reinstatement of Para Sailing in the Paralympic Games at the top of its agenda," stated David Graham, CEO of World Sailing, who attended the briefing. "We are pleased that the IPC has so clearly outlined the process for sports seeking selection for the Paralympic Games LA28 at such an early stage in 2022 and provided the timeline to which World Sailing must submit its case."

IPC Timeline:

The process of sports bidding to be included in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games will follow a four-step process:

  • Step 1: IPC initiates the review process. Eligible IFs are invited to fill out the 'Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games Sport Programme Questionnaire' (2 Feb 2022)
  • Step 2: Deadline for IFs to return the Questionnaire to the IPC (4 July 2022)
  • Step 3: The IPC Governing Board reviews all interested sports and identifies areas that need additional information and clarification (end of Sept 2022)
  • Step 4: The IPC Governing Board determines the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games Sport Programme (end of Jan 2023)
The Sport Programme will be determined in accordance with the IPC Handbook and the requirements are the same for new sports, those included in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, and those sports seeking reinstatement. The current LA Games plans to stage 28 Olympic sports and 22 Paralympic sports.

The 2028 Summer Paralympic Games, known as LA28, will be the first held in the United States since 1996 when Para Sailing made its debut as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Paralympic Games. Para Sailing was a successful Paralympic sport for five consecutive Games from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016.

The IPC is implicit in the key guiding principles for the Paralympic Games which are:

  • Excellence - The Paralympic Games should constitute the highest level of competition for each sport, with participation of the world's best athletes.

  • Diversity - The Paralympic Games provide athletes with varying types/ranges of impairment the opportunity to compete within an event programme that ensures the participation of athletes with high support needs and offers opportunities for male and female athletes.

  • Universality - The Paralympic Games include athletes from all regions of the world, representing the maximum possible number of National Paralympic Committees.

  • Integrity - The Paralympic Games feature well-governed, clean, fair and safe competition, with excellence in judging and officiating.

  • Sustainability - The Paralympic Games showcase Para sports with a depth and strength of field that ensure high quality events from one Paralympic Games edition to the next.

World Sailing set out a series of Strategic Priorities in 2020 to support the growth of Para Sailing by 2023. These are focused on:

  • Increasing worldwide participation to 45 nations on 6 continents.
  • Increasing youth participation (below the age of 30) to 20% of total athletes.
  • Grow the number of female participants to 30% and, ultimately, to achieve gender parity.
Focusing on diversity, inclusion, affordability, development, and increasing the number of open and Para Sailing events are all part of World Sailing's framework to build on the success of Para Sailing. The Para World Sailing Strategy 2020-23 can be viewed here.

"We strongly believe our Para Sailing strategy is closely aligned to the IPC's guiding principles and that we can deliver on the criteria set out in the IPC Questionnaire," said Graham. "It was made clear to us today that the IPC Governing Board will take a much more active role into deciding which sports gain entry into LA28, and they are looking not only at fact-based evidence but a strong narrative to support the Paralympic Movement.

"Everyone is starting from the same position, no sports are guaranteed a place and we can absolutely demonstrate that Para Sailing is one of the most inclusive, diverse and universal sports on the planet today. Ultimately, the IPC Governing Board will decide which sports will be included at LA28 whether a sport meets all the set criteria or not. We will do our absolute best for our community to see Para Sailing reinstated at LA28," concluded Graham.

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