Nordic skiing experts gather to talk classification

Athletes, coaches, classifiers and researchers met to discuss the progress of research projects. 05 Sep 2014
Ukraine cross-country skiing

Ukraine's Nordic skiers practice at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Centre ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

ⒸGetty Images

Experts gathered in Bonn, Germany, from 28-30 August to discuss the progress of classification research projects, initiated after a classification research meeting in 2011, for Nordic skiing.

On the agenda for the three day meeting were also subjects such as how the current classification system works in practice for the three groups of athletes currently competing in Nordic skiing – sitting, standing and visually impaired.

The attendees included IPC representatives, athletes, coaches classifiers and researchers from a wide network.

Since the Experts Meeting in 2011, a research project has been carried out with sit-skiers. The aim of the 2014 meeting was to follow-up on the progress and discuss how the findings may translate in classification for those athletes. An assessment was also made on how the learnings could potentially be transferred to research for visually impaired and standing athletes.

In addition to the discussions on the current classification system, there was an assessment of whether separate sport class structures are needed for the freestyle and classic techniques practiced in cross-country skiing, and how equipment rules relate to classification.

Lastly, at the request of the IPC Governing Board, the group discussed the concept of translating the classification model for athletes with intellectual impairments used in athletics, swimming and table tennis to Nordic skiing.

The outcomes of the three-day meeting will now be discussed by the IPC’s Nordic Skiing Sport Technical Committee, and reported to the IPC Governing Board, the IPC Classification Committee and IPC Sports Science Committee.