IPC provisionally includes bobsleigh in 2022 Paralympic programme

Inclusion of skeleton sport for the Beijing Winter Games declined 

Rio de Janeiro (RWH) The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) provisionally accepted the sport of Para-bobsleigh (seated) for inclusion in their winter sports programme for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing - under the condition that it meets the following minimum requirements in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons: A minimum of six World Cup races plus one World Championships held per season; and a minimum of twelve nations from three regions participating each season. With regards to the Para-skeleton discipline, the IPC Governing Board in their meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 5 September declined the inclusion in the 2022 Games. 

„We are thrilled by today´s decision of the IPC to accept Bobsleigh in the Paralympic Program – this shows the excellent work the IBSF has done in the past 5 years in preparing this sport for inclusion in the Paralympic sports programme”, said Ivo Ferriani, President of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF. “I want to thank our Para-sport Committee for their great commitment, but above all I want to thank our Para-sport athletes for their passion to perform our sports. At the same time today we were informed that the IPC did not accept our application for skeleton to be integrated in the Paralympic Games which is a great disappointment for all our Para-skeleton athletes and the IBSF itself”, said Ivo Ferriani. „But the IBSF is fully committed to work closely with the IPC to further develop Para-skeleton, and we will apply again at the earliest appropriate opportunity.” 

“I would like to congratulate the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) after bobsleigh was provisionally accepted to be part of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games”, said Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, in a release on Paralympic.org. “As a relatively young and growing sport within the Paralympic Movement, bobsleigh currently does not fulfil all the criteria required for full inclusion in the Games which is why we have stipulated a number of measures for the sport to meet over the coming years. We are always looking to freshen up the Paralympic sports programme and grow the size and scale of the Winter Games. Providing the IBSF can meet the conditions we have outlined then bobsleigh will be a welcome addition to the Games in 2022.” 

The IBSF’s para-sports committee was founded in 2010 and immediately began work on acceptance of the disciplines on the programme of the Paralympic Winter Games. In 2014, the IPC awarded the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation the status of recognised international sport federation. The first official IBSF Para-Sport World Cup was held in the 2014/2015 season, and the first IBSF Para-Sport World Championships were fought out in Park City (USA) in 2016. 

In the 2016/2017 season, athletes from 16 nations (AUS, AUT, BRA, CAN, ESP, GER, GBR, ITA, LAT, NED, NOR, POL, ROU, SUI, SWE, USA) are expected to be in possession of official IBSF licences. For the 2016/2017 season, the IBSF scheduled six races in the Para-Sport World Cup as well as the Para-Sport World Championships in St. Moritz (SUI). 

Incidentally, the para-bobsleigh and para-skeleton are currently mixed gender races. Para-skeleton athletes compete on conventional skeleton sleds, while mono bobs that are steered and braked by one athlete alone are used in para-bobsleigh. ©RWH 2016