We would like to inform you about the recent discussions conducted by World Para Snowboard (WPSB) with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) related to future Paralympic Winter Games sports programmes.
In a virtual meeting on 9 October, WPSB had the opportunity to present the IPC Governing Board with a progress report highlighting the strong development our sport has seen in recent seasons. The IPC Governing Board was impressed with our progression. More specifically, the Governing Board praised WPSB’s efforts to provide female Para athletes with further opportunities to compete.
WPSB will continue to work closely with members towards the growth and development of our sport with the same passion and commitment. Para snowboard has come a long way and we have the biggest World Championships in our history ahead of us at Lillehammer 2021.
While the IPC Governing Board decided not to approve any changes to the already finalised Beijing 2022 medal events programme (in particular given the timeline for finalising the sport programme, as set out in the IPC Handbook), it has encouraged WPSB to continue with our development plans in the run up to Milano-Cortina 2026.
WPSB has submitted the application for a full medal programme in Milano-Cortina 2026 on 26 June 2020. It is anticipated that in December 2020 there will be a change in the process of approving medal events for 2026. This change means that medal events can be provisionally approved six years before the Games. A final decision would then be made three years before the Games based on whether certain disciplines and/or classes meet the criteria. This change in approach will provide nations with a longer window during which to invest in the development of their athletes.
It is crucial for the Para snowboard community to think long term and continue to invest in the development of the sport. Only by adopting a long-term strategy will we be successful in our mission.