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  • Para Bobsleigh Once Again Left Off Paralympic Games Sports Program


    The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board decided against the inclusion of Para Bobsleigh at the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Paralympic Games, and thus has finalized the sports program.

    In December 2020, the IPC announced that a decision on Para Bobsleigh’s inclusion at the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games would be deferred until early 2021 pending clarification in several areas. After clarifying these matters, the IPC Board decided not to include Para bobsleigh due to the sport not meeting the minimum criteria for the number of nations and regions regularly participating in the sport.


    According to data provided by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to the IPC, the sport was widely and regularly practised in 10 countries and three IPC regions over the 2016/17-2019/20 seasons.


    The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation seemed to counter this claim in a press release on the matter. The statement read, “Statistics provided to the IPC showed that in the past two seasons 13 Nations regularly participated but in the year 2016/17 only eleven and 2017/18 only twelve nations can be seen as “regularly participating”. In the previous season 2019-2020 even 16 Nations participated.”

    Under the IPC Handbook, for the Paralympic Winter Games an individual sport must be widely and regularly practised at the performance level in a minimum of 12 countries and three IPC regions over the designated four-year period.

    IPC President Andrew Parsons, said, “The IPC Governing Board decided not to include Para bobsleigh in the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games after the sport fell short of the minimum criteria required in terms of global participation over the last four seasons. In our review of documentation provided by IBSF, 10 countries can be considered as widely and regularly practising the sport over the last four seasons. This is two short of the minimum criteria for inclusion in the Paralympic Winter Games.”

    He continued, “I know this will be understandably disappointing news to the Para bobsleigh community. However, the sport should be encouraged that if it can maintain the participation levels it had during the 2019/2020 season when 16 nations took part in performance competitions, it will be in a strong position for inclusion in the 2030 edition of the Games.”


    IBSF President Ivo Ferriani stated, “This is an extremely disappointing decision and we will follow-up with the IPC Governing Board accordingly. The IBSF has a strong commitment to Parasport and will continue so in the future. We all know how important it is for all para athletes to be accepted in the Paralympic program for their national fund programs. Most of our athletes are self-funded with a great financial and operational support from the IBSF side.”


    He continued, “Para Bobsleigh shows gender equity by not making a difference between a female or male athlete but having both gender slide with the same equipment and under the same conditions in one race. We will not give up fighting for our sports.”

    The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was officially recognized as the governing body for Para Bobsleigh and Para Skeleton back in 2014. Regular IBSF Para World Cup races have been held since the 2014-2015 season. There has also been an annual world championship held in the sport since 2016.

    With the exclusion of Para Bobsleigh, the IPC confirmed that five para sports will feature on the program for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games. Para Alpine skiing, Para Ice Hockey, Para Nordic Skiing, Para Snowboard and Wheelchair Curling will compose the sports program. The Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place between 6-15 March 2026.



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