On Wednesday morning, May 2nd, history was made when the International Paralympic Committee announced the inclusion of Para-Snowboarding in the 2014 Winter Games.
Male and female standing snowboarders will compete, marking the sport’s debut as part of the Paralympic program. The last Paralympic Winter Games was held in Vancouver in 2010. The event featured 502 athletes from 44 countries who contested 64 medals.
Nicole Roundy explains the significance of this announcement, “As the second largest sporting event in the world, the Paralympics are arguably the most influential. Para Snowboarding challenges what it means to be physically disabled. These are individuals you see at the grocery store and the mall, but you would never know they have a disability and you would never know the odds they have beaten to participate in this sport. Many of us have over 10 years of competitive experience, but this is the first time we will receive mainstream support. This is a very exciting day.”
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7-16, 2014. Para-Snowboard will be included in the Alpine Skiing program which also includes Downhill, Super G, Super Combined, Giant Slalom and Slalom events. Nordic Skiing will see a number of Biathlon and Cross Country events contested whilst other medal events will take place in Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling.
The qualification criteria for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be published on Monday 28 May 2012.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Snowboard is a fast paced and extremely exciting sport and we are delighted that it will form part of the Alpine Skiing program at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. I am particularly looking forward to see how athletes perform in this exciting new discipline and believe it will prove extremely popular with spectators and TV viewers alike.”
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said: “Snowboarding is a young and exciting sport and one which is attracting new audiences and participants everywhere.”
For further information
About Sochi 2014 please visit www.sochi2014.com
About IPC please visit www.paralympic.org or contact Craig Spence, IPC Director of Media and Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49-228-2097-230.