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  • IPC Governing Board Approves Provisional Sports Program For 2026 Paralympic Winter Games

    The IPC Governing Board concluded four days of online meetings on December 15, making key decisions relating to the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games sport programme.

    The IPC Governing Board approved the inclusion of para alpine skiing, para ice hockey, para nordic skiing, para snowboard and wheelchair curling at the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games.


    Milano Cortina 2026 will mark the 14th consecutive appearance for both para alpine skiing and para nordic skiing at the Winter Paralympics. Both sports have featured at every edition of the Paralympic Winter Games, since the inaugural edition held in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden in 1976.


    Para nordic skiing will once again hold competitions in two disciplines, cross country skiing and biathlon. Biathlon was first introduced to the Paralympic Winter Games in 1988, and has featured at every edition since. 

    Para ice hockey also retains its spot on the program, having featured at every Paralympic Winter Games, since 1994. Likewise, Wheelchair Curling will also remain a part of the sports program. In fact, this will be welcome return to Italy for the sport, since it was first included in the Paralympic Winter Games at Torino 2006.


    Another sport that will be happy to make a return to the Winter Paralympic program is para snowboard. Para Snowboard debuted as a sport at the last edition of the Paralympic Winter Games held in Pyeongchang in 2018. However, the sport actually first featured at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games as a discipline of para alpine skiing, meaning that Milano Cortina 2026 will mark the fourth time snowboard events have been included at the Paralympic Winter Games.


    The IPC Governing Board deferred a decision on whether to include para bobsleigh until early 2021. Para bobsleigh was originally due to feature at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. However, the IPC deemed that the sport had failed to met some of the criteria outlined by the organization for the sport’s inclusion at the Games, and thus para bobsleigh was ultimately cut from the program. 

    At the time of that decision, IBSF President Ivo Ferriani vowed that the IBSF would not give up on their para-sport program, and that the organization would work towards the sports inclusion at the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games.

    The IPC Governing Board also provisionally approved the first 18 medal events in order to give National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations additional time to plan for the Games. The approved events included a new mixed doubles wheelchair curling event and two new medal events in women’s snowboard for athletes with upper limb impairments.

    Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said, “We are pleased that with more than five years to go until the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games we can confirm six disciplines from five sports for the sport programme and announce the first 18 medal events that will be provisionally included.”


    He continued, “We strongly believe the provisional inclusion of medal events will facilitate participation growth, advancing the possibilities of them meeting the criteria for inclusion when the medal events programme is fully confirmed in two years’ time. Moreover, provisional inclusion offers the International Federations opportunities for athlete development and recruitment while giving national governing bodies clarity in their long-term planning, funding and development programmes.”

    Chelsey Gotell, IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson, said, “The provisional medal event programme for Milano Cortina 2026 includes 18 events that are either new or have had limited participation at previous Games. With more than five years to go until the Games, athletes, national and international federations, as well as NPCs have a target to aim for in terms of developing the talent pool.” 

    A full list of the 18 medal events provisionally included for Milano Cortina 2026 can be found Here.


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