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Diversity of sports at the Paralympics: there is often a lack of competition for admission – Paralympics Zeitung

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At this point, the team reports to the Paralympics newspaper, a project of the Tagesspiegel and the German Social Accident Insurance. All the texts of our digital series can be found here. You can find all the latest news on our blog and on the social media channels of the Paralympics newspaper. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Our reader survey can be found here.

The first Winter Paralympics began in Örnsköldsvik in 1976 with 250 athletes competing on skis only. Alpine Para-Skiing and Nordic Para-Skiing have been part of it since the day it was born. Para ice hockey has been an integral part of the program since the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer. Another team sport, which is now very popular, was looking for a winner for the first time in Turin in 2006: wheelchair curling. In 2014, para-snowboarding was the latest sport to be added in Sochi. Para-bobsleigh was a sport that was about to be included in the Paralympic program.

After the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ruled against including the para-skeleton in 2016, the para-bobsleigh was changed to the Beijing Winter Games. But why weren’t there any exciting bobsleigh races to report on in recent days? Inclusion in the Paralympic competition calendar was subject to strict conditions: at least six World Cup races and one World Championship had to take place in the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 winter seasons. At least twelve different nationalities from three regions had to be represented. The international sport of para-bobsleigh has so far failed to meet these criteria.

“It gnaws at you. We received specifications from the IPC that we had to achieve And they have done it regularly. Here, for example, it is about the overall number of nations and the number of athletes. During a meeting, the IPC changed the rules again and increased the minimum number. So wait another four years. That is under all guns when you consider how many millions of euros have already flowed in over the years and what people make possible to play the sport. There is no transparency and no reliability,” says Germany’s most successful parabob pilot Niko Johann in an interview with the “Paralympics Zeitung”. There will also be no medals for para-bobsleigh pilots at the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Milan. Very few active nations, according to the IPC board reasoning Instead of the minimum number of twelve, only ten countries are active enough.

Sack racing and spitting were once Olympic

Para-bobsleigh and para-skeleton are not the only ambitious sports applying for inclusion in the IPC. For example, six sports wanted to be new to the 2024 Summer Games. These included parasailing, parakarate, paradance, paragolf and electronic wheelchair soccer, which were no longer considered for selection. “Football COP“ (or “Football 7“, juice of people with brain disabilities) was a Paralympic until 2016 and was left out of the Tokyo program. This will also continue to be the case in Paris: the IPC referred to the insufficient development of sport among women.

The preparations for the sports federations, including the documents to be submitted, are complete, because the IPC must receive reports on the formation of the federations, on the set of rules and the global distribution of sports, as well as on all four. competition programs of the year. Anti-doping measures must also be documented.

Even if all these documents satisfy the IPC and the conditions are met, acceptance into the program is not guaranteed. Each sport is regularly checked for eligibility. In fact, Olympic-level sports have always been removed from the program. In addition to long-distance spitting and sack races – in which medals were once awarded – there is also an established sport such as curling. There are many reasons for a rejection. There is usually a lack of sufficient numbers of professional athletes in the sport or, as in the case of parabobsleigh, not enough international competitors. Lack of viewer interest or lack of institutional structure can also be exclusion criteria.

It remains uncertain when and if other sports will be included in the Paralympic Games programme. In addition to para-bobsleigh, para-skeleton is also fighting for admission: “We will now continue to work closely with the IPC to further develop the discipline of para-skeleton and re-apply as soon as possible”, says the president of the international association bobsleigh and skeleton Ivo Ferriani. As the federations and all stakeholders move forward with the bid, a greater variety of sports could soon be expected during the Games. However, the sports world will have to wait a while before medals are awarded to para-ice dancers.

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