In a year that was highlighted by the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, it is fitting that 2014 finishes with a number of winter sport events.
Here is what sporting action is taking place in December.
ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne, Australia’s Sandringham Yacht Club will host the first stop of the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series, the seventh edition of the annual series for sailors who are campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions.
There will be three para-events in Melbourne between 7-14 December: 2.4m, SKUD 18 and Sonar.
IPC Alpine Skiing NORAM Cup
The first NORAM Cup meeting of the year in Aspen Highlands, Colorado, USA, will take place between 9-12 December and will see skiers compete in slalom and giant slalom. It is likely many of the Americas’ leading athletes will be action and around 50 skiers are set to take part.
IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup
The first IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup of the year will see biathlon and cross-country races take place in Vuokatti, Finland. It will be the first major event since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and will give a good indicator of form ahead of January’s World Championships in Cable, USA.
Around 100 athletes from 12 countries are set to compete.
IPC Alpine Skiing Youth Races
Around 20 athletes from 10 countries will be competing Stara Planina, Serbia, between 10-11 December for the second youth races of the year.
2014 Para-badminton Pan American Championships
This is one of the first major para-badminton events since the sports inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and will be staged in Cuba’s La Havana City between 12-14 December.
Prior to the start of competition there will be a two-day long coaches workshop.
IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Grand Prix
At October’s Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, Chinese athletes won 18 of the 24 titles available. In the last World Cup of the season in Beijing, they will be hoping for future success on home soil when six days of action begins on 13 December.
Hungarian, British and Italian athletes impressed at the last World Cup in Eger, Hungary.
IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup
Around 80 of Europe’s top skiers from 20 nations will be Pitztal, Germany, between 15-16 December for the first Europa Cup of the season. For many it will be their first outing since Sochi 2014 and all will be looking to impress ahead of the World Championships in Panorama, Canada, which start at the end of February.
Monday’s first day of competition will see athletes compete in giant slalom, whilst on Tuesday they will tackle slalom events.
Less than one week later (19-21 December), skiers will head to Kuhtai, Austria, for the second Europa Cup. There will be three events with athletes tackling slamon, giant slalom and super combined.
IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Series
Litomerice, Czech Republic, will stage the next round of games in the inaugural World Series between 19-21 December. The four teams taking part are Czech Republic, Italy and Germany who will play in next year’s A-Pool World Championships and B-Pool contenders South Korea.