Paracanoe has been officially confirmed as one of 22 sports to be included on the LA28 Paralympic Games schedule, an exciting next chapter in one of the world’s fastest growing para sports.
The International Canoe Federation welcomed the announcement from the International Paralympic Committee, locking paracanoe in for its fourth Paralympic appearance. Paracanoe made its first appearance at Rio in 2016 with six medal events.
Three new events were added in Tokyo, with the Va’a category added for the first time, while in Paris in 2024 an additional women’s Va’a race will be part of the program, putting 10 medals on offer and celebrating gender equity once again in the paracanoe Paralympic program.
ICF Paracanoe Committee Chair, John Edwards, said confirmation the sport will be part of the LA Games is a vote of confidence in the discipline.
“Since it first appeared in Rio in 2016 paracanoe has been one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports in the world,” Mr Edwards said.
“Athletes from other sports are taking the opportunity to try their skills in paracanoe, because they see an exciting sport which is easily accessible and highly athletic. In Tokyo we saw lots of new countries competing for the first time, and I’m sure in Paris and Los Angeles we will see even more.
“We thank the IPC and LA 28 for their vote of confidence in paracanoe. To be included in the Games program carries with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and we are determined to continue our role not only as great ambassadors for the Paralympics, but for the para community around the globe.”
IPC President Andrew Parsons said deciding the final line-up of events for a Paralympic Games is a long and difficult process, but he is confident the sports chosen will make LA 28 a competition to remember.
“Determining these sports for inclusion to the LA28 Paralympic Games through the International Federation application process was a tremendously difficult job for the IPC Governing Board as we received 33 excellent applications,” Mr Parsons said.
“All International Federations who submitted applications should be congratulated on the quality of their submissions as they underline that all Para sports are getting stronger.
“The sports we have included in the LA28 Paralympic Games provide a competitive and attractive sport programme that will showcase the diversity of the Paralympic movement.”
LA28 chairman Casey Wasserman said the sport line-up was a strong reflection of the community of the host city.
“The LA28 Paralympic Games will be an incredible moment for elite adaptive sport against the backdrop of one of the most diverse and inclusive cities on the planet,” Mr Wasserman said.
“We’re looking forward to bringing a remarkable Paralympic sport programme to life that will create an exceptional Games experience for athletes and fans. LA28 has always been about integrating the creative energy of LA into sport tradition to bring new fans into the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
“As we explore potential new sports, we will consider how best to elevate the athlete and fan experience and contribute to the overall success of the Games.”
The ICF will have the chance to nominate which paracanoe events it would like included in LA28, with the goal of adding VL1 races for both men and women and taking to 12 the number of Paralympic medals on offer.
Original Content: ICF Media