On the 30th anniversary of International Paralympic Committee (IPC), many great sporting moments have taken place. Records were broken, unexpected champions crowned, a new generation of Para athlete stars rising, and much more.
It has been an incredible 2019 in the Paralympic Movement, and before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games year comes upon us, the IPC reflects on the top 10 moments of 2019.
The countdown starts with China’s maiden world title in wheelchair curling, a year after they won their first ever Paralympic Winter Games gold at PyeongChang 2018.
The Chinese spoiled a home gold for Scotland with a 5-2 victory at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship. Never before had China won a World Championship until that March day.
They previously captured a silver and pair of bronzes. But this gold made a telling statement of their readiness for a repeat at their home Paralympic Winter Games in 2022.
Team skip Haitao Wang has been the anchor in both the 2019 Worlds and 2018 Paralympic winning squads.
In Stirling, Scotland, Wang nailed a takeout which proved decisive in the outcome of the tournament. Qiang Zhang was the only other member in Stirling with PyeongChang 2018 experience.
China has come close to clinching gold back at the 2015 Worlds but fell short to Russia. Twice before, the Asian nation had ended up in third place.
Wheelchair curling has clearly taken firm ground in China, and they are currently strong contenders for the 2020 World Championships beginning in February.
“I think the secret to our success is that we encourage each other and support each other,” said lead Zhou Yan after China’s win in Stirling.
“We constantly find problems and solve them in the game and grow in the game. Curling is what we call chess on ice. I like to analysis the game of chess, so I like to study all kinds of curling strategy.
“This is a start for wheelchair curling in China, and we still need to work hard and continue to learn,” she added.