The Paralympics are looking to take on a new sport. As of now, the sport that’s in the lead for that spot is adaptive snowboarding. The International Paralympic Committee is looking very closely at that possibility. IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez: “We are interested because the Paralympic Games needs more sports in the program to make it more attractive, and to produce a bigger impact.”
Canada Snowboard hosted an event in Whistler to discuss how to get adaptive snowboarding into the Games. Participants included national Paralympic committees, representatives from the IPC and adaptive snowboarders.
Of all the proposed sports, snowboarding is one of the most promising, having hosted World Cup events since 2008 and a world championship for the first time in 2009. At the most recent snowboard nationals, the organizers hosted a combined adaptive snowboarding World Cup and national championship.
Cross-country ski Paralympian Tyler Mosher from Whistler is also a rider, and he looks forward to how this will progress: “Of all the sports they’re looking at for 2014, I’ve heard snowboarding is looking the best,” he said. “From what I understand we have to write a proposal and explain how it’s going to be done, where the sport is currently, how we’re going to develop the sport and make it work for 2014 and how it progresses for 2018.
Everyone is saying it’s attractive. We have the numbers and now it’s just a matter of selling it. It attracts the youth and keeps the Games vibrant, and maybe even attracts potential sponsors”.
In a press release, Tom McIllfaterick of Canada Snowboard said: “There are a number of steps Canada Snowboard is taking to include adaptive snowboarding in the Paralympics. We will continue to host World Cup events like the one (that took place) in Mont Tremblant, and continue to work with other countries around the world to build capacity for the sport. We will also refine the sport’s rules and procedures so that they fully meet the standards of the International Paralympic Committee. We believe that it is possible for Adaptive Snowboarding to appear at the Paralympic Winter Games as early as 2014.”