The Paralympics of the future
Latin Americas first Paralympics Games had an atmosphere like no other and has left a left a lasting impact on the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) global movement. Here the IPC profile the Paralympic games that will shape the future of the global movement, from PyeongChang 2018 to Beijing in 2022.
With less than 500 days to go until the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, the Organising Committee (POCOG) has begun a series of test events in November through to next April which will include six Paralympic winter sports.
The ﬁrst Paralympic winter sport test event will be the World Wheelchair Curling Championships that will be staged between 4-11 March. Featuring 10 teams, the event will take place in the 3,500 seat capacity Gangneung Curling Centre.
From 10 March, the IPC Snowboard World Cup Finals and IPC Biathlon and Cross- Country Skiing World Cup will also take place in PyeongChang.
At Sochi 2014 Para snowboard made its Paralympic debut and between 10-13 March, the climax of the season will involve boarders competing in banked slalom and snowboard cross events.
Between 10-15 March, the 7,500 capacity Alpensia Biathlon Centre, which was original-ly built in 1998 but has had a facelift ahead of the 2018 Games, will welcome the world’s best Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiers.
March will also see PyeongChang host the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals, an event which see skiers compete in downhill, su-per-G, super combined, giant slalom and slalom.
The ﬁnal Paralympic test event will be IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool which will take place between 15-23 April. The USA, the defending world and Paralympic champions, will be one of eight teams taking to the ice at the newly constructed 10,000 seat capacity Gangneung Hockey Centre.
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 9-18 March.
Just a few days after the closing of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the Paralympic ﬂag completed its long journey from Brazil and arrived in Tokyo on 21 September.
The Olympic, Paralympic and Japanese national ﬂags were hoisted and ﬂown together at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Plaza in Shinjuku, one of the Japanese capital’s liveliest areas, marking the latest in a series of milestones bridging the two host cities.
The ﬂag-raising ceremony gathered 3,000 spectators and was followed by the kick-off of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic ﬂag tour. During the coming year, the Olympic and Paralympic ﬂags will be exhibited in more than 60 sites in and around Tokyo, including some of the small islands that are part of the metropolis, and in three of the prefectures affected by the 2011 East Japan earthquake. These events are aimed at building further awareness and support for the Games throughout the country.
Judoka Kento Masaki, who won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, attended the ceremony and commented: “It really brought home the realisation that Tokyo will not only be the next host city, it will be the ﬁrst city to ever host the Paralympic Games twice. I think this is a really signiﬁcant step in building the momentum of the Paralympic Games.”
Interest in the Tokyo 2020 Games is also strong in many other countries and made the Tokyo 2020 Japan House in Rio one of the most popular hospitality houses in the Brazilian capital during the 2016 Games. It welcomed more than 82,000 visitors from all over the world, helping to showcase Japan’s culture and raise enthusiasm towards the host country of the 2020 Games.
The IPC Governing Board provisionally approved the inclusion of bobsleigh for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games at a meeting in Rio on 5 September.
Bobsleigh will line-up alongside the six existing Paralympic winter sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, ice sledge hockey, snowboard and wheelchair curling – to be part of the Beijing 2022 programme. The application for skeleton to be included in the Games was not successful due to the sport not fulﬁlling a number of the criteria needed.
For bobsleigh to be given full approval for inclusion in Beijing 2022, the sport must meet a number of minimum requirements laid out by the IPC Governing Board in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.
In each of the two seasons, the sport must host at least six World Cup races plus a World Championships. A minimum of 12 nations from at least three regions should also be participating each year.
The decision is subject to ﬁnal written approval by both the IOC and the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee. Beijing 2022 will unveil their emblem for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the second half of 2017.
This article was originally published by our partner, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in the "Paralympian Magazine".